Hector Olivera was the big get for the Braves in the three-team, 13-player deal before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. And if all goes according to plan, it won’t be much longer before we see him in the majors.
Olivera landed a six-year, $62.5 million contract with the Dodgers earlier this year. The 30-year-old has been limited to just 25 games in the minors this season due to a hamstring injury, but he’s set to play his first game with Triple-A Gwinnett tonight. He’s starting at third base, which is where he’ll play when he joins the Braves.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman spent some time with Olivera while he was rehabbing his wrist injury in Florida and he was impressed with what he saw.
Olivera had a .323/.407/.505 batting line over 10 seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.