The latest from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com …
Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera is considering several offers in the four- to six-year range, and the infielder could come to terms with a team this week, according to industry sources.
The Dodgers, Braves, Marlins, Padres, A’s and Giants have all shown a strong interest in signing the 29-year-old, sources said.
The expectation is Olivera will get around $50 million. Initial reports had him seeking more than $70 million, but we didn’t hear much of that after he switched agents last week, from Rudy Santin and Manny Paula to Greg Genske of the Legacy Sports Agency.
Olivera was a .323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports heard a week ago that there was serious concern from some teams about the structure of Olivera’s throwing-arm elbow, but multiple sources have since refuted that report.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.