Dodgers: Potential Non-Roster Invitee and Minor League Targets
ALEXI AMARISTA, UTIL INF
The 5’6 Amarista seems like he has been an NL West rival for years, but he is still only 28 years old. With Charlie Culberson headed to the Braves, the Dodgers do not have a defense first, experienced shortstop to back up Corey Seager. Sure, Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez can handle the position, but they are obviously needed elsewhere around the diamond. Amarista is a guy who can also play multiple positions, to include shortstop. Advanced defensive metrics, such as Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) favored him earlier in his career but recently have represented below average defense. Offensively, he is a career .231 hitter, with a .620 OPS. You sign him for his defensive versatility, not his bat.
RYAN FLAHERTY, UTIL INF
Flaherty is a player with a similar profile, but with a higher defensive upside. Flaherty is a utility man with a very strong glove and a very weak bat. Flaherty, 31, was injured most of last season. He has a career batting avg. of .215, and a career OPS of .639. On the other hand, Flaherty excels on defense, to include shortstop, and is known as a great clubhouse presence. Either Flaherty or Amarista would serve as a cheap shortstop insurance policy.
CHRIS STEWART, C
The Dodgers have enviable catching depth with Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes at the big league level, and a slew of prospects from Kyle Farmer to Kiebert Ruiz to Will Smith to Connor Wong. However, the Dodgers probably wouldn’t mind having a veteran catcher to pair with Farmer at AAA, much like Bobby Wilson did last year. Wilson has since moved on as a minor league free agent. Stewart is a respected veteran catcher who would be a great mentor to the young Dodger catchers in spring training and be a calming presence for the young pitchers at AAA. Should Grandal or Barnes spend time on the disabled list, Stewart is the type of veteran you want to have on hand to call up to fill the backup role.