Third-string catcher Miguel Olivo bailed on the Marlins this week, leaving after batting practice before Friday night’s win over the St Louis Cardinals. According to several reports, Olivo had repeatedly asked the front office for his release, but the Miami Marlins have refused to do so. The team, in turn, placed Olivo, batting .203 with four homers and nine RBI, on the restricted list, which means they don’t have to pay him. Big shock.
“I told them I wanted to be released and they wouldn’t give it to me,” said Olivo. “I don’t understand why they don’t release me. I told them I wanted to be released because I have 30 days of not playing. I need to play … If I’m not doing nothing, I don’t understand why they keep me doing nothing.”
“I know it wasn’t an ideal situation for him not getting to play a lot, but at the same time too, the team relies on you, and we all rely on you,” Marlins skipper Mike Redmond said.
The light-hitting Olivo was brought in at the end of Spring Training, well after back-up catcher Jeff Mathis broke his collarbone. Olivo served as the primary back-up to rookie catcher Rob Brantly, but remained with the team once the lighter-hitting Mathis returned from injury. Mathis is hitting a robust .122, but to his credit, he is a plus defender behind the plate and has called great games for young pitchers like Jacob Turner and Jose Fernandez.
The team has no use for Olivo, so the move to place him on the restricted list and not pay him smacks of spite. Olivo would return nothing of consequence in the trade market, and, at 34-years old, he’s not a piece to build with. This seems like another botched decision that will bring more negative PR to the club. Just cut him and be done with it.