Breaking down some of the names you might not remember the Los Angeles Dodgers acquiring this past offseason.
Lost in the shuffle of acquiring the superstar talent of Mookie Betts, the Dodgers made several smaller roster moves that offer a unique group of players who will look to climb the lower ranks to make the Dodgers roster.
Let’s take a look at some under the radar acquisitions made by the Boys in Blue during the offseason.
The Dodgers inked the veteran speedster Terrance Gore to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, and he’s a rather interesting addition.
In parts of six seasons, Gore has appeared in 109 games, including the postseason, yet he only has 79 plate appearances. That is because he is a pinch-running specialist. Although an outfielder by trade, Gore’s blistering speed (99th percentile among major leaguers) has made him an asset on the basepaths.
He has stolen 45 bases in 54 tries, including some clutch swipes during the Royals’ 2015 World Series run. While Gore’s elite wheels have pigeon-holed him into a specialized role, he has had trouble expanding his responsibilities due to his ineffectiveness at the plate. He’s demonstrated next to zero ability to hit at a high level, mustering a mere .213/.307/.261 in 181 AAA games, and an exit velocity under 80 mph at the major league level.
Although he’s not as an extreme example of a base running specialist as Herb Washington, an Olympic-caliber sprinter with no prior professional baseball experience who never had an at bad or played the field in 105 games with the A’s in the early 70’s, you really only want Gore on the basepaths.
That being said, Gore is still elite at what he does, and the Dodgers just might find a place for him. If baseball returns in 2020, it will likely do so with expanded rosters. While extra spots will mostly be reserved for pitchers, there might be an opportunity for a few additional positional players to make the team.
A player like Gore is more of a luxury on any roster. A team has to have depth to use a roster spot on a player who almost exclusively runs the bases; the A’s were on their way to three consecutive World Series titles when they procured Herb Washington’s base running services. But if any team is deep enough to afford Terrence Gore on their roster, it’s the Dodgers.