Cuban infielder Hector Olivera may require Tommy John Surgery to replace a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Serious concern exists that Cuban infielder Hector Olivera has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm, potentially hindering the market for a free agent who many expected to contribute in the major leagues this season, sources told Yahoo Sports.
If the A's remain interested in Olivera, this injury could be to the benefit of the A's efforts to sign him. The A's seem to be set at the moment on the infield with Ben Zobrist taking the bulk of second base duties. The A's have not been against signing pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery, with them signing Eric O'Flaherty in 2014 to a deal structured to anticipate his absence for the first half of last season. At the right price they could sign a position player dealing with the same issues.
Update: Olivera's representatives "vehemently deny" reports of elbow problems
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez and Baseball America's Ben Badler report that representatives of Olivera deny the reports of throwing elbow trouble.
Reps for Hector Olivera surprised to hear report & unaware of any UCL damage. Say HO feels fine & had private workout for a club last week.— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) March 6, 2015
Hector Olivera's camp vehemently denied a report that there is anything wrong with his elbow. “It’s absolutely not true.”— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) March 6, 2015
Olivera camp said he has taken four physicals and passed them all. Said he has been training and throwing as normal with no pain.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) March 6, 2015