When Hector Olivera was placed on administrative leave following his arrest on domestic violence charges, I'm sure that I wasn't the only one who figured that the Braves would be more than a bit hesitant to even want to bring the 31-year-old Cuban left fielder back on their roster once his legal saga concluded.
As it turns out, the Braves may not want Olivera back after all, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Braves have been trying to trade Olivera since the incident.
...Olivera is on administrative leave through at least May 3 after allegedly assaulting a woman in a hotel, and his future – which almost assuredly will include a hefty suspension from Major League Baseball – is unclear enough that the Braves are trying to get rid of him.
The main question here is whether or not any other team in baseball would want Olivera as well. By the looks of things, the trade market for 31-year-old "prospect" with an unclear future, a big contract, and is probably facing suspension -- on top of being inactive for nearly a month -- is about as slim as a single Wheat Thin.
Passan even mentioned just how bad the market is for Olivera right now in the very next paragraph:
Since Olivera’s arrest, Atlanta has tried to trade the 31-year-old outfielder, two sources told Yahoo Sports. Olivera is signed through 2020 for $34.5 million, a hefty sum for a player without even 100 major league at-bats and with an alleged domestic-violence rap. Said one executive whom the Braves queried about any interest in Olivera: "I can’t believe they even asked."
Yikes. Of course, that's a rational response to have when it's clear that the Braves are trying to dump their problems on someone else. Granted, John Hart and John Coppolella have pulled off some incredibly shrewd trades when it comes to players who they desperately wanted to get rid of (namely Chris Johnson and Melvin Upton), but this seems like a bridge too far for this front office to cross.
It's definitely understandable that the Braves would want to move on from Hector Olivera, but it'll probably be incredibly difficult for them to do it via trade. Furthermore, this seems to be yet another sign that the initial trade to bring Olivera into the Braves' organization appears to have been the one major mistake in what's been an overall positive rebuild for Atlanta so far.