- C, 1B, DH
- July 15, 1978
- 230 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-15-2002 with CHA
Olivo was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Athletics in 1996 and played in the A's minor-league system through 2000. In December 2000, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Chad Bradford, an episode recounted in a chapter of the popular baseball/business book Moneyball, although Olivo was mentioned only in passing. In July 2001, while playing for White Sox Class AA affiliate Birmingham, Olivo was suspended for six games and barred from that year's All-Star Futures Game for using a corked bat. Olivo maintained the bat, which had an A's logo on it, had been given to him by a former teammate while playing in the Athletics system.
He made his major league debut on September 15, 2002 with the Chicago White Sox and played 6 games that year. He was traded from the Sox to the Seattle Mariners in June 2004 along with Jeremy Reed in exchange for Freddy Garcia and Ben Davis. After struggling with the Seattle Mariners he was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2005 for minor leaguer Daniel Mateo. A year later he was traded to the Florida Marlins in 2006.
In 2007, he had the lowest fielding percentage of all NL catchers (.986.)
Olivo is known for picking off baserunners, as he is 2nd in the majors with most successful pickoffs, only behind St. Louis Cardinal's catcher Yadier Molina.
He and Rod Barajas have the 2 lowest career OBPs(On base percentages) for active major leaguers.
Olivo was not offered a new contract by the Marlins and became a free agent on December 12, 2007. On December 27, 2007, Olivo signed a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals. On November 6, 2009, the Royals declined his option, making him a free agent.
On January 4, 2010, Olivo signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Rockies
Olivo has caught two no-hitters in his career. He caught one by Aníbal Sánchez of the Florida Marlins on September 6, 2006, and one by Ubaldo Jiménez of the Colorado Rockies on April 17, 2010.
Olivo made headlines in early 2010 for having to leave the Rockies' April 29 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the beginning of the eighth inning to pass a kidney stone. Remarkably, he was able to re-enter soon after and finished the game. On October 1, Olivo was hit in the back of the head by the bat of Albert Pujols. He suffered a mild concussion, but returned to the team later in the game.
On November 4, 2010, Olivo was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Blue Jays declined to exercise the contract option for 2011 but offered him arbitration, he declined, becoming a free agent.
Olivo signed a 2-year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Mariners on December 9, 2010. Olivo was a Type B free agent, and as such the Toronto Blue Jays received a supplementary draft pick after he left the team via free agency.
Olivo hit his second grand slam of his career on July 21, 2011 against the Toronto Blue Jays in Rogers Centre. It was the first Mariners grand slam since longtime play-by-play announcer Dave Niehaus passed away on November 10, 2010. Niehaus' friend and longtime play-by-play announcer Rick Rizzs did the honor of doing the grand slam call that Niehaus created. In 2011, Olivo had the worst walk-to-strikeouts ration in the major leagues, with 0.14 walks for every strikeout.
- Miguel Olivo