The Braves have tried to trade Hector Olivera since the outfielder’s arrest earlier this month on a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports. Olivera is currently on paid administrative leave while Major League Baseball investigates the alleged incident under the league’s domestic violence policy, and a suspension is widely believed to be in his future.
With this disturbing charge hanging over Olivera, it’s no shock that Atlanta would be looking to move on from the 31-year-old outfielder, and it’s as equally unsurprising that rival teams aren’t jumping to make a deal. Olivera’s trade value is so low that one executive whose club was approached by the Braves told Passan that he “can’t believe they even asked.”
Aroldis Chapman, of course, was traded from the Reds to the Yankees while facing a domestic violence investigation last winter, though obviously Chapman is a far more proven talent on the Major League stage. Olivera has only 108 MLB plate appearances to his name and he’s produced just a .245/.296/.378 slash line. Furthermore, Olivera is owed roughly $3.4MM remaining this season and $28.5MM from 2017-2020. While a suspension under the domestic violence policy would erase any salary commitments owed under that timeframe of games, the Braves or any other team would still likely owe a significant chunk of money to a player with big question marks both on and off the field.
It was just over a year ago that Olivera was one of the most sought-after players on the international market, as at least nine teams were reportedly interested in signing the Cuban star before the Dodgers landed him with a six-year, $62.5MM contract. A signing bonus accounted for $28MM of the deal, and Los Angeles already paid that entire amount as part of the very complex three-team, 13-player trade that sent Olivera to the Braves last July. The fact that the Dodgers parted ways with Olivera just months after signing him to a rich deal raised eyebrows in the first place, as Olivera had battled injuries in the minors and only showed flashes of his hitting potential. Once Olivera joined the Braves, he faced another change over the winter as the Braves moved him into a primary left field role after he’d spent most of his career in Cuba at either second or third base.