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.

Indians designate Carlos Gonzalez for assignment

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The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.

A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.

If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.