The Braves want Hector Olivera to play left field in winter ball

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP
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When the Braves acquired Hector Olivera back in July, the assumption was that he’d get the opportunity to run away with the starting third base job. That could still happen, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that the Braves want him to play some left field in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Bowman writes that the Braves are simply looking to increase Olivera’s versatility while keeping an open mind toward future seasons. With Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn under contract for next season, Olivera likely fits best at third in the short-term. However, he’s signed through 2020 and the Braves have prospects like Rio Ruiz and Austin Riley in the system.

Olivera, who signed a six-year, $62.5 million deal with the Dodgers earlier this year, batted .253/.310/.405 with two home runs and 11 RBI over 87 plate appearances during his first stint in the majors. He turns 31 in April. Baseball America ranked him as the Braves’ top prospect earlier this week.