The Dodgers have claimed yet another player off the MLB scrap heap and given him an invitation to spring training. They've done it a few times already this offseason, with pitchers Stephen Gonsalves and Jesse Hahn, who both mysteriously haven't pitched in either the majors or minors for a few years. Clearly, LA is really banking on their ability and reputation of turning DFA'ed or otherwise downtrodden players around and making them big-league material.
This time, they're taking a gamble on utilityman Chris Owings, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. Owings was the rival Diamondbacks' first-round draft pick back in 2009 and has played for five other teams since then. Most recently, he was in Pittsburgh, where he got 25 at-bats and hit .160/.160/.160, which could be fun if it also weren't a little sad.
Also per Ardaya, Owings has already reported to Camelback for spring training, where he'll hope to make an impression and live another day in the majors.
Dodgers sign Chris Owings, former Diamondbacks first-round pick, to a minor league deal
Over 11 seasons, Owings has a career line of .239/.286/.364, but his best year isn't actually that far behind him. He was far from an everyday player with the Rockies during a two-year stint, but he did hit .326/.420/.628 over 21 games with them in 2021. However, he hasn't played in over 50 games since 2019 between the Royals and Red Sox, and hasn't cracked 100 since 2018, his last year with the Diamondbacks. His six-year tenure with them did oftentimes look serviceable, if not promising; he had a great 2016, when he led the league in triples and stole 21 bases.
Owings, now 32, probably isn't capable of that kind of speed anymore, but he must have something that the Dodgers are interested in for them to give him a drive at spring camp, especially when the roster is already packed as it is. Maybe being around the wealth of talent the Dodgers have at Camelback will motivate him. Since he's already there, a few days before the full squad reports, it's clear that he's anxious to get started and help push Gavin Lux somewhat in camp.