7:34pm: Sources from within Olivera’s camp say Olivera has passed four physicals with no issues and the report about the UCL injury is “absolutely not true,” Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports (all Twitter links). Olivera’s representatives also deny that they have received any offers; since Olivera isn’t officially a free agent yet, he isn’t allowed to negotiate with MLB teams.
6:17pm: Olivera’s representatives were surprised by the report, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets. To their knowledge, Olivera didn’t have any UCL damage and he “feels fine.”
6:08pm: Hector Olivera may have a damaged UCL in his throwing arm, sources tell Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. The extent of the damage is not known, but should Olivera have to undergo Tommy John surgery, the Cuban infielder would need six to nine months of recovery time, in all likelihood sidelining him for the entire 2015 season.
Olivera’s throwing arm didn’t raise any concerns during workouts for teams, Passan notes, though clubs were already conducting physicals on the infielder in order to be prepared for his eventual free agent clearance by Major League Baseball.
Olivera was reportedly looking for a six-year contract in the $70MM range from MLB teams, and at least five team executives told Peter Gammons that this was a realistic asking price. Passan reports that Olivera had received at least one offer already that was north of $50MM. Obviously this injury news will dampen Olivera’s market, and his hopes of a major payday could be scuttled altogether if he needs surgery. The Dodgers, Braves, Mariners, A’s, Giants, Padres and Yankees were among the teams known to have an interest in Olivera’s services.