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Hector Olivera signs with an independent league team

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that former major leaguer Hector Olivera has signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent team based in Texas that is part of the Atlantic League.

We last heard of Olivera, the Padres released him last August — just two weeks after acquiring him from the Braves in the Matt Kemp trade. Olivera never actually suited up for the Padres. He hit .245/.296/.378 with the Braves in 2015-16 after coming over as part of a 13-player trade that also involved the Dodgers and Marlins.

Olivera was arrested in April last year for a domestic dispute. Major League Baseball suspended him for 82 games. He was later convicted of misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, a decision which he appealed. He is still owed, from the Padres, the remainder of the six-year, $62.5 million contract he signed with the Dodgers in May 2015.

In a Twitter Q&A last year, Braves GM John Coppolella said that the Olivera trade was his biggest mistake and that it “still haunts me.” In another recent Twitter Q&A, Coppolella said the trade “was terrible and that’s on me.”

Cody Bellinger named NLCS MVP

Cody Bellinger
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Following a dominant 5-1 win to clinch the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, the Dodgers named outfielder Cody Bellinger their MVP of the series.

Bellinger, 23, made noise when it mattered. Entering Saturday’s game, he carried a meager .190/.227/.238 batting line with just four hits and two RBI, but his hits in Games 4 and 7 became the difference-makers the Dodgers needed to keep pace with the Brewers and clinch the NL pennant. In Game 4, it was Bellinger’s 13th-inning base hit off of Junior Guerra that put the Dodgers over the top for the walk-off 2-1 win. The outfielder returned to put the finishing touches on the series with a go-ahead home run — his first of the postseason — in the second inning of Game 7.

Bellinger wrapped his second season in the Dodgers’ organization in 2018, slashing .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR across 632 PA and all 162 games. He’s the youngest Dodgers player to receive the award to date.