The Braves have promoted infielder Hector Olivera for his first major league stint, according to a team announcement. The move had been expected, as reporters have indicated over recent days that Olivera was being prepared for a September call-up. (Among them, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted yesterday that a move was still expected and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com added today on Twitter that it was forthcoming.)
Nothing about the 30-year-old’s nascent professional career has been straightforward thus far. While it’s hard to know quite what to expect, it will certainly be interesting to see him in action at the big league level. Olivera is expected to see regular time at third base, as O’Brien tweets.
Hotly pursued as a free agent out of Cuba, Olivera signed with the Dodgers over the winter for six years and $62.5MM after making a last-minute switch of agents. But he was ultimately traded to the Braves over the summer in an inordinately complicated three-team arrangement. With $28MM of that commitment accounted for in a signing bonus, he’ll only cost Atlanta about $30MM from 2016 to 2020.
Olivera was putting up big offensive numbers in the Dodgers’ system before suffering a hamstring injury. He continued to work back from that after being traded to the Braves, but he never came all the way back around at the plate before moving out of the minors. It’s important to bear in mind that we’re still looking at very small samples here. His time in the majors over the next month should say more about his longer-term outlook, though even that will serve as little more than an introduction.