The Dodgers made a minor transaction on Friday acquiring catcher Jose Lobaton from the Seattle Mariners. This provides depth for the OKC Dodgers.
On Friday the Dodgers made a trade acquiring Jose Lobaton from the Seattle Mariners for cash considerations. The move gives some depth to the LA and OKC Dodgers as Keibert Ruiz is out for the rest of the season with a fractured finger. He will serve as the primary backup to Austin Barnes in AAA.
It’s unlikely that Lobaton makes his way to Los Angeles this season and if he does that would be bad news for the Dodgers. It would mean that multiple catchers were injured as Russell Martin and Austin Barnes are second and third on the catcher depth chart behind rookie Will Smith. Lobaton spent time with the Tampa Bay Rays during Andrew Friedman’s time there.
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This season, Lobaton has not appeared in the big leagues and he has spent the entirety of his season with the Mariners’ triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers. Jose has enjoyed the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League as he had thirteen home runs there and an OPS of .739. Lobaton is a switch hitter.
Although he is a switch hitter, most of Lobaton’s home runs come from the left side of the plate. Over the last three seasons, Jose has hit seven home runs, and six of those have come as a left-handed hitter. Should another injury occur to Russell Martin, Austin Barnes could now be recalled without damaging the depth at AAA.
The need for another catcher was created by a combination of the injury to Keibert Ruiz and the dealing of Rocky Gale to the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the trade deadline. Gale was the veteran catcher the Dodgers kept in Oklahoma City but that role will now belong to Jose Lobaton. Austin Barnes should get a call-up in September but it is unlikely that Lobaton will.
In case you were wondering how a trade still happened after the single trade deadline, trades are still allowed after July 31st but restrictions apply. One of those restrictions is that players traded can not be on the forty man roster or on an MLB contract which limits trade possibilities to prospects and veteran minor leaguers serving as depth like Lobaton.