The 32-year-old Olivera hasn’t played since early in the 2016 season thanks first and foremost to a domestic abuse arrest and conviction that caused clubs to steer clear of him even when he was effectively available for nothing. Then a member of the Braves, Olivera was arrested in April 2016 and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery of a woman who was reportedly hospitalized and had visible bruising. He was sentenced to 90 days of jail time, though he seemingly only served 10 of those days as the other 80 days of the sentence were reportedly suspended by the judge.
Olivera is technically still being paid on the six-year, $62.5MM contract he signed with the Dodgers — one of the most ill-fated signings not only in recent memory but in Major League history — and will continue to be paid under that contract through the 2020 season. Beyond his off-field transgressions, Olivera simply never produced in either the Major Leagues or the minors, posting a collective .245/.296/.378 line in the Majors and a .238/.264/.333 line in Triple-A. Those both came in small samples, partially because Olivera also had difficulty staying healthy.
Olivera’s contract became almost immediately regrettable for the Dodgers, who traded him to the Braves barely two months after signing him. Atlanta GM John Coppolella has candidly called that trade a misstep that “still haunts [him].” Atlanta salvaged some value by then dumping Olivera’s contract on the Padres as a means of acquiring Matt Kemp in a trade that saved the Padres about $28MM. That trade was an obvious salary dump from the get-go, but the Padres made that point all the more clear by releasing Olivera immediately after acquiring him — a definitive statement that they wanted nothing to do with the player or his off-field behavior.
The hope for Olivera, presumably, is that strong play on the independent circuit can potentially serve as an avenue back into affiliated ball, though even at a minimal cost, many teams (if not all 30 teams) will undoubtedly refuse to even consider Olivera. The public relations difficulties that would stem from signing someone with his recent criminal record would likely outweigh whatever minimal on-field upside the signing itself may bring.