3. Hector Olivera
As much as we might want to pin the Hector Olivera decision on the Atlanta Braves, where the memory of his disaster has lingered longer, it was the Dodgers who were the ones to win the bidding here, creating one of the largest overpays in the modern game for someone who absolutely did not deserve a fraction of the cash.
Los Angeles signed the Cuban defector prior to the 2015 season, adding him on a six-year, $62.5 million deal with a $28 million signing bonus. A precautionary MRI revealed he had a minor UCL tear, so the Dodgers insured against an eventual possible Tommy John surgery; other than that, though, the team believed they’d added a developing power threat in the wake of Yoenis Cespedes’ successful defection.
Just four months later, Olivera was gone, traded to Atlanta in a three-team deal that brought LA a massive bounty including Mat Latos, Michael Morse, Bronson Arroyo, Alex Wood, and several others.
The very next April, Olivera was arrested in Washington, DC over a domestic dispute; he was sentenced to a 90-day prison term and became one of baseball’s highest-profile domestic violence offenders, suspended for 82 games and ultimately jettisoned to San Diego in a salary dump for Matt Kemp, where he was later DFA’d. The Cuban import never played Major League Baseball ever again.
The Dodgers may not have paid off the bulk of this deal, but the responsibility still lies in their court.