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The Braves want Hector Olivera to play left field in winter ball

Braves Olivera Baseball

Cuban infielder Hector Olivera fields a ball as he works third base during batting practice before playing the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Atlanta. Cuban defector Hector Olivera was called up for Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins. He is batting sixth and playing third base. Olivera was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers just before the deadline for non-waiver trades in a blockbuster deal that also included the Marlins. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT


When the Braves acquired Hector Olivera back in July, the assumption was that he’d get the opportunity to run away with the starting third base job. That could still happen, but Mark Bowman of writes that the Braves want him to play some left field in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Bowman writes that the Braves are simply looking to increase Olivera’s versatility while keeping an open mind toward future seasons. With Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn under contract for next season, Olivera likely fits best at third in the short-term. However, he’s signed through 2020 and the Braves have prospects like Rio Ruiz and Austin Riley in the system.

Olivera, who signed a six-year, $62.5 million deal with the Dodgers earlier this year, batted .253/.310/.405 with two home runs and 11 RBI over 87 plate appearances during his first stint in the majors. He turns 31 in April. Baseball America ranked him as the Braves’ top prospect earlier this week.

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