Hector Olivera’s six-year, $62.5 million contract includes a Tommy John surgery clause

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported earlier this month that “serious concern exists” about the structure of Hector Olivera’s throwing elbow. That report has been refuted by Olivera’s representatives and the 29-year-old Cuban infielder still managed to score a six-year, $62.5 million free agent contract Tuesday from the Dodgers, but the Los Angeles front office did give itself some protection.

Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors had this revelation first …

If Hector Olivera needs Tommy John surgery, there will be an extra year and $1 million added to Olivera’s contract, according to an industry source. It is currently unclear whether or not he’ll need Tommy John surgery, but one source says “he does have something” wrong within his elbow.

John Lackey had a similar clause in his five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Red Sox and will make just $507,500 from the Cardinals this year because of it. He needed Tommy John surgery in October 2011.

Olivera was primarily a second baseman in Cuba, but the Dodgers will likely try him at third base.

He was a .323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional.

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UPDATE, 10:22 p.m. ET: MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that a recent MRI showed a slight tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in Olivera’s throwing elbow. He should be able to play through it.

Angels place Andrew Heaney on 10-day injured list

Andrew Heaney
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The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.

It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.

Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.

In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.