Olivera, 29, has widely been tabbed as likely to sign quickly after officially reaching the open market. Certainly, any team hoping to add him will be doing so with expectations that he’ll play a significant role in 2015, and will therefore want to get him into camp as soon as possible.
Sources close to Olivera vehemently denied a report yesterday suggesting that Olivera may have a UCL problem in his throwing arm. It is not yet clear whether any arm issues are a concern for teams with interest, though Olivera does have some prior medical concerns that will certainly be explored in detail by the club that signs him. Olivera discussed his health and other topics in a recent interview with Ben Badler of Baseball America.
Since Olivera was not technically allowed to negotiate with clubs before being made a free agent by the league, his market and market value remain somewhat hazy. But numerous reports have indicated that he could potentially score a significant guarantee, with estimates ranging from $30MM all the way up to $70MM+. And Olivera has been connected with teams such as the Dodgers, Braves, Mariners, A’s, Giants, Padres and Yankees at various points.
Needless to say, his late entry onto the market — while widely expected — makes for an interesting final twist to this year’s free agent market. He is considered to be a starting-caliber asset after impressing in his recent showcases, though the uncertainties inherent in his situation will no doubt play a role in his ultimate contract.