Two weeks ago I introduced you to Hector Olivera and summarized the possibility of him becoming the next Oakland Athletic.
My Olivera dreams were dashed the minute Beane traded for an entirely new middle infield.
Beane then turned around and flipped Escobar for elite setup man Tyler Clippard.
Just like that Hector Olivera is a real possibility again.
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If you don’t already know Olivera is a Cuban second baseman who has recently fled Cuba in an effort to sign a free agent contract in the United States.
Here is a quick video showcasing Olivera for a documentary on Cuban baseball.
Last week Olivera held a live showcase for team in the Dominican Republic. According to a Baseball America report, the A’s, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Atlanta Braves showed the most interest.
The A’s and Padres make the most sense due to their immediate need for a middle infielder in his prime. But what sets the A’s apart from other teams is there payroll flexibility.
Odd for that to be a reason to consider the A’s in on a free agent, but the team has famously shed their “big” contracts this winter, perhaps for this very reason.
Similar to the Yoenis Cespedes signing in the early spring of 2012, the A’s are in a good position to outbid the other teams for Olivera’s services.
Dealing Escobar frees up at least one spot for a position player on the Athletics active roster. Marcus Semien will mostly play shortstop while Zobrist can roam the diamond. Olivera would be a nice stabilizing presence at second base.
The above video makes mention of Olivera’s hopes to secure a $10 million deal, well I believe that is about how much the A’s have remaining in their 2015 budget.
Olivera has yet to be cleared by Major League Baseball to sign a contract, but it is assumed that will happen soon. When it does, expect Beane to jump all over this opportunity.