Free Agent Stock Watch: Miguel Olivo

The Blue Jays pulled off a nice little move when they acquired Miguel Olivo from the Rockies 17 days ago, essentially swapping a player to be named later or cash for a supplemental first round draft pick. Toronto declined Olivo's $2.5MM option, so add the $500K buyout to the bounty for the draft pick, but more importantly it made Olivo a free agent. Let's review the backstop's stock…

The Good

  • Olivo is a proven power threat, hitting no fewer than a dozen homers every year since 2006 and averaging 16 per season during that span. Brian McCann is the only other backstop with double digit homers in each of those years (min. 60% of games behind the plate).
  • He's adept at stopping the running game, throwing out 124 of 343 attempted basestealers (36.2%) over the last five seasons.
  • Despite the rigors of catching, Olivo has been on the disabled list just once in his career; he missed 15 days when he had kidney stones removed during the summer of 2004. Other than various day-to-day ailments associated with the position, he's been perfectly healthy.
  • He's just a Type-B free agent, so it won't cost a draft pick to sign him.

The Bad

  • Olivo will turn 33 next July, an age when catchers can start to turn into pumpkins.
  • Power is the only thing to like about his offensive game. He doesn't hit for average (.246 career) or draw walks (just 108 unintentional walks in over 3,000 career plate appearances), resulting in paltry on-base percentages (.283 career).
  • As good as he is at throwing out base runners, Olivo has led the league in passed balls in four of the last five seasons.

The Verdict

As usual, the number of teams looking for a catcher this winter far exceeds the number of quality catchers available. The Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, Rangers, Mariners, Dodgers, Padres, and others could all be in the market for a new backstop, so Olivo should have his pick of offers. He's not likely to match John Buck's three-year, $18MM contract given his age, but Olivo's one of the best free agent catchers and the open market should yield a two-year contract.


Leave a Reply

16 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Miguel Olivo"


Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

Mike you forgot to mention that he had 10 home runs every year since 2006!

I think Olivo is definetly deserving of a 2 year deal seeing as to what John Buck got and previous catchers. I’m not saying he should be the starting catcher both years…But it’s worth thinking about…I’d like to see the White Sox sign him.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 9 months ago

I have to say it for the record. It was a brilliant move by AA, no one saw it coming, an 11th hour bought draft pick.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

Could mean the next Albert Pujols for all we know…With the compensation picks of last year…he got Asher Wojciechowski (exactly the same pitcher as Josh Johnson and Jim Callis’ sleeper), Aaron Sanchez (one of the best pitchers taken in the draft and had a remarkable season…made it all the way to Rookie Ball), and Noah Syndergaard, an upside pitcher with a good change and curve…So he got another pick for pretty much nothing and will get many more…I mean if the guy loves drafting players whos going to stop him right?

$1529282
4 years 9 months ago

“Olivo is a proven power threat, hitting no fewer than a dozen homers every year since 2006 and averaging 16 per season during that span.”Nope, he didn’t.

Meant to be a reply to SPAN… not sure why it didn’t turn out that way though. Hmm.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I was making a joke because Mike did a twitter poll and on twitter he said 10 instead of a dozen…

I’m having trouble understanding what you said…it said you were trying to reply to me but I don’t get the rest of it.

Dylan
4 years 9 months ago

LOL @ “Olivo will turn 33 next July, an age when catchers can start to turn into pumpkins.”

firealyellon
4 years 9 months ago

Kenny Williams, this would be an nice Thanksgiving treat.

skandy1
4 years 9 months ago

Led both leagues in passed balls or just whatever league he was playing in at the time?

skandy1
4 years 9 months ago

I found the answer – thanks anyway.

Ian_Smell
4 years 9 months ago

Not only has he led the league in passed balls, but also passed kidney stones.

skandy1
4 years 9 months ago

White Sox had him and traded him away and not they want him back.

skandy1
4 years 9 months ago

Looks like he does his share of striking out- over the last 3 yrs
2010 117K’s in 112 G
2009 126K’s 114G
2008 82K’s 84G
Compared to other FA’s Barajas, Torrealba and even Pudge Rodriguez, it’s not even close.

Otis26
4 years 9 months ago

I’ll bet John Buck is still waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror, and laughing.

The Marlins are going to regret that one, because they’re paying him about $17 million more than he’s worth. I’d take Olivo over Buck any day.

whitesoxfan424
4 years 9 months ago

I was at the game that he was taken out in the 8th or something against the cubs, and it was announce he was traded. I was sad then, but then we got Freddy, who went on to pitch 7 shutout innings of 4 hit ball to clinch the world series in ’05. My memory of Olivo is positive, and I don’t want it to get tarnished by a second stint with the ChiSox.

twinsgeek
4 years 9 months ago

So why did toronto turn down a 1 year/$2.5M option on him? Doesnt that seem like a bargain? And something that they could trade?

twinsgeek
4 years 9 months ago

So why did toronto turn down a 1 year/$2.5M option on him? Doesnt that seem like a bargain? And something that they could trade?