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Hector Olivera signs with an independent league team


Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that former major leaguer Hector Olivera has signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent team based in Texas that is part of the Atlantic League.

We last heard of Olivera, the Padres released him last August — just two weeks after acquiring him from the Braves in the Matt Kemp trade. Olivera never actually suited up for the Padres. He hit .245/.296/.378 with the Braves in 2015-16 after coming over as part of a 13-player trade that also involved the Dodgers and Marlins.

Olivera was arrested in April last year for a domestic dispute. Major League Baseball suspended him for 82 games. He was later convicted of misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, a decision which he appealed. He is still owed, from the Padres, the remainder of the six-year, $62.5 million contract he signed with the Dodgers in May 2015.

In a Twitter Q&A last year, Braves GM John Coppolella said that the Olivera trade was his biggest mistake and that it “still haunts me.” In another recent Twitter Q&A, Coppolella said the trade “was terrible and that’s on me.”

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.