Los Angeles Dodgers Rumors: Hector Olivera Gets An Answer On Tommy John Surgery
The Los Angeles Dodgers flexed their financial muscle this offseason when they splurged on Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, adding him to a team already crowded with boppers and infield talent. The six-year, $62.5 million deal was even more surprising because Olivera comes to MLB as a player already within his physical prime and with elbow concerns.
Olivera's throwing elbow showed some ulnar collateral ligament damage and some feared Tommy John surgery was in his future. In fact, the Dodgers added a clause that gives them a seventh year of team control at just $1 million if Olivera undergoes the procedure.
According to BaseballEssential.com, Olivera will not require Tommy John this year. It turned out he was dealing with an elbow sprain, and not a ligament tear.
Olivera's arrival in Los Angeles was delayed by problems obtaining a visa, but now that he's in the U.S. the Dodgers have to begin making decisions at the hot corner. Juan Uribe opened the season as the starter, but versatile infielder Justin Turner has played well, and infield-capable Cuban Alex Guerrero has opened eyes with his performance in an outfield role.
Uribe is slashing .237/.272/.303, and at 36 years old there's not much sense in trotting him out there when younger players with bigger upside can fit the bill. That's why speculation is growing that Olivera's arrival could signal a trade.
Turner is most valuable in a utility role since he's capable of playing all the infield spots besides catcher and shortstop, and can also man the corner outfield positions. Guerrero has hit well and would be the most attractive trade piece of the group if he didn't have the ability to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.