Hector Olivera is a unique player in a unique position for the Atlanta Braves. It’s been referred to as rebuilding, retooling, revamping or simply some stage of reloading. Whatever the case may be, the team’s efforts turned from stockpiling young arms to the acquisition of some middle of the order production.

Olivera is the first piece of that puzzle.

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As he nears the end of his rehab assignment and moves closer to making his big league debut, Olivera is anxious to get started in Atlanta, just as the organization and the fanbase are anxious to see what all the fuss was about this winter.

The 30-year-old Cuban star was pursued by several teams in free agency before signing a six-year, $62.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in late March. Somewhat surprisingly, a hamstring injury and a logjam on the L.A. infield made Olivera available at the trade deadline. Atlanta used its pitching depth to acquire a man they believe can be a serious contributor to the lineup.

While the price tag of Alex Wood and top prospect Jose Peraza was relatively high, the Braves front office got creative as part of a three-team, 13-player trade that netted Olivera at a substantial discount. His contract included a $28 million signing bonus which the Dodgers will pay in full, giving Atlanta five years of Olivera’s services for roughly $34 million.

The next step was getting their new third baseman healthy.

Olivera has three hits in seven at-bats with the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves after going 1-for-17 in six games between the rookie league GCL Braves and the Low-A Rome Braves. Overall, he is batting .301 in 28 minor league games this season.

If all goes according to plan, Olivera will finish the weekend series in Gwinnett and then join Atlanta at the beginning of next week. That could be as soon as Monday, when the Braves host the Colorado Rockies.

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Here is the transcript from my conversation with Olivera through translator Alex Cotto following Friday night’s Gwinnett Braves game.

Tonight was another step toward realizing your dream of playing in the major leagues. How are you feeling at the plate right now?

“I am feeling a lot better. Every day [my timing] is getting better. I am feeling a lot more comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m that far off.”

One of the big parts of this process was finding a position to play and third base is that position. How are you feeling in the field?

“Every day is a learning process, but I feel a heck of a lot better. I think the more time I get there, the more confident I will get, but right now I’m building that confidence. I think I’ll be more than adequate at the position.”

As you were working through your rehab with the GCL club, you had a chance to meet Freddie Freeman for a few days. Did you have an impression or get the opportunity to speak and interact with him a little bit?

“We didn’t get to spend too much time together when he was rehabbing, but in the time we did spend we were able to joke around a little bit. My English is limited, but when we could talk we had a good time. I feel that it’ll be good being around Freddie. He’s a tremendous athlete, tremendous player and an even better person from what I’ve seen. I’m anxious to get up there and be playing with him.”

Your new teammates are very anxious to see you make it to the big leagues. I know this has been a big process over the past year, signing with the Dodgers and then coming to Atlanta. Was it surprising to be traded in your first season in professional baseball in America?

“As I’ve said in previous interviews, I’m thankful for the Dodgers for giving me that opportunity, but I am happy with the trade. I knew a lot of the people here already from my time as a free agent. I had the opportunity to visit with the club when they were in Tampa last week. What I realized and what I saw is that it’s more of a family atmosphere here. I really like that. Fredi Gonzalez, I have a good relationship with him. From what I see, I know he’s the leader of this ship and everyone is willing to follow him. The future is bright here and I want to be a part of it.”

Fredi Gonzalez has had many nice things to say about you. A lot of praise and a lot of excitement is obviously building toward your debut in the coming days. Could you describe your relationship with Fredi Gonzalez a bit more?

“Fredi and I do have a good relationship away from the field. I still haven’t had the opportunity to play under him, but I have a lot of respect for him. From what I see, so does the organization and the players he coaches. The one thing I want everyone to know is that when I’m out there on the field I’m going to give more than 100 percent back to the club and to my manager because of the respect that I have for him.”

Not only do you have Fredi Gonzalez, but you also have a fellow countryman and Cuban on the team in Adonis Garcia. Is that also an exciting aspect of joining the big club?

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for me, but also a tremendous advantage because these guys have come up already and been through what I’m going through now. To have them to lean on is important for me. I grew up with Adonis Garcia. We were teammates in Cuba on a couple of National teams, so having him here is important to me. But, again, I am going to give everything and do everything the club tells me to and the manager tells me to do. I am here to help the club win and I am going to give more than 100 percent.”

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Grant McAuley is the Braves Reporter and host of “Around The Big Leagues” on Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. You can hear the show every Sunday from 6-8 p.m. Follow Grant on Twitter. Subscribe to his podcast on (iTunes) or (Stitcher).