MLB: Hector Olivera Receives 82-Game Suspension

Braves outfielder Hector Olivera has accepted an 82-game suspension, without pay, under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, the league announced earlier this afternoon. Olivera’s suspension is retroactive to April 30 and will run through Aug. 1. The time he’s served on paid leave from April 30 until now will be retroactively credited toward the suspension, and any pay he has received in that time will be revoked. All told, the suspension will cost him roughly $2.03MM of this season’s $4MM salary. Olivera has accept the punishment and will not file an appeal.

Olivera, 31, was arrested on April 13 and charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery. The victim reportedly called 911 the morning of the arrest and told police that she had been assaulted, and she was taken to the hospital with visible bruising. Olivera’s punishment is the strictest yet under Major League Baseball’s newly implemented policy. Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game suspension in his case due to the fact that he was not arrested and criminal charges were never filed. Jose Reyes, meanwhile, received a 51-game ban after criminal charges were reportedly dropped shortly before he faced a criminal hearing. Charges against Olivera, however, have seemingly not been dropped, which is presumably the impetus for commissioner Rob Manfred’s most aggressive suspension to date.

A year ago, Olivera was  a highly touted Cuban free agent and agreed to a six-year, $62.5MM contract with the Dodgers that included a gaudy $28MM signing bonus. However, Olivera’s stay in the Dodgers organization didn’t last long, as he was traded to the Braves as part of a three-team, 13-player blockbuster that sent Mat Latos, Alex Wood and Jose Peraza to the Dodgers, with Olivera, Paco Rodriguez and Zachary Bird going to Atlanta. The Braves reportedly held quite a bit of interest in Olivera while he was a free agent, but he quickly fell out of favor in the organization due to defensive questions about his work at third base. Atlanta moved Olivera to the outfield, but he’s yet to deliver much in the way of offense since being acquired. He’s batted .245/.296/.378 in the Majors.

That, of course, is secondary to his off-field troubles. The Braves are troubled enough by his transgressions that they’ve reportedly attempted to trade him. Unsurprisingly, they’ve had little success. How much he’ll factor into Atlanta’s plans moving forward, or whether he will at all, remains to be seen.