The Dodgers made their first move of the offseason, signing an infielder to a minor league deal.
Finally, something more than a rumor about the management situation.
The Dodgers finally made a move in free agency, their first of what will likely be many this offseason.
It’s not exactly a blockbuster of a move, but the Charlie Culberson will potentially play for his third NL West team in the last four seasons. Culberson was a first round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 2007 draft and appeared in six games for them in 2012 before being traded to Colorado for Marco Scutaro before the trade deadline that year.
Aug 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies short stop Charlie Culberson (23) rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Culberson has played in 142 games for the Rockies in 2013 and 2014. He owns a career .221/.265/.314 slashline, but his versatility is probably what led to the Dodgers taking a chance on him. He played second base in San Francisco, but has played multiple games at first, second, short, third and left field in his career.
Culberson was the 26th out of Clayton Kershaw‘s no-hitter in 2014. He was double switched into the game in the seventh inning and got his only at bat with one out in the ninth, and flew out to Yasiel Puig on the first pitch of his at bat. That out stood out to me because Puig caught the ball with two hands, which says a lot about the gravity of the moment.
Culberson missed most of 2015 with a bulging disc in his back and is far from a guarantee to make the team. The Dodgers would be wise to take their chances on a number of these players with minimal financial commitment and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle.
This seems like it could be a “calm before the storm” type of move, as rumors have the Dodgers hiring a manager in the next couple days. It appears that Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler are the two final candidates for the managerial opening, and it’s hard for me to complain about either one.