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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.”

Scooter Gennett to undergo MRI after injury

Scooter Gennett
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The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.

Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.

The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.