Report: Hector Olivera is mulling over “several multi-year offers”


Cuban free agent infielder Hector Olivera switched representation this week by hiring Greg Genske of Legacy Group as his agent. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal spoke with Genske and provides this update on his status:

This is exactly what you would expect an agent to say, but assuming Olivera’s market is as “robust” as has been reported in various places, Rosenthal speculates that concern over his elbow could be minimal. Of course, he’d have to take a physical before an agreement with any team becomes official.

Olivera, 29, was a .323/.407/.505 hitter over 10 seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional and could fit at second base, third base, or DH in MLB. The Dodgers, Padres, and Braves are among the teams who reportedly have strong interest in him.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.