Dodgers sign former 2017 Astros enemy in unexpected pre-trade deadline move

The Dodgers have put the past in the past, it would seem.
Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers weren't kidding when they made it clear they needed a right-handed outfield bat. But were they this desperate that they had to sign a former enemy that played for the 2017 Houston Astros?

On Thursday, the Dodgers inked outfielder Jake Marisnick to a major-league contract. The 32-year-old played in 33 games with the Tigers this year before being cut loose after posting a .232 average, .691 OPS and 90 OPS+. Before that, he logged nine games with the White Sox but only got two at-bats.

Marisnick's lone respectable campaign came back in 2017 with Houston when he appeared in 106 games and hit .243/.319/.496 with 50 runs scored, 16 homers, 35 RBI and a 119 OPS+. Never again did he sniff those OBP and SLG marks outside of a 16-game stint with the New York Mets in the shortened 2020.

Remember when Joe Kelly pelted Marisnick with a fastball back in 2021 in what many believed to be his little revenge tour against the cheating Astros? Would've been awkward if he was still on the Dodgers and this signing was made.

Expect Marisnick to hang around up until the trade deadline when the Dodgers find somebody more productive to take over an outfield spot/bench role. They just need some help out there in the meantime while Mookie Betts gets more infield reps after Miguel Vargas' demotion.

Dodgers sign former Astros enemy Jake Marisnick to MLB deal

Much like the Tyson Miller acquisition this week, this is solely to buy the Dodgers time and preserve their guys over the next couple week as the front office maps out the big picture.

Though Marisnick didn't log any postseason reps for the Astros in 2017 and didn't have an effect on the Dodgers losing that World Series in seven games, anybody who put up above-average contributions on that Houston team is considered an enemy. That's just how it goes. And since that was far and away Marisnick's best showing in MLB, it further exposed the Astros' sign-stealing tactics.

No offense to Marisnick, but if he wasn't moving the needle whatsoever for the Tigers and White Sox, it's unlikely he'll make an impact with the Dodgers (despite LA's top-three offense). He might see an uptick in production, but it won't be enough to tilt the scales in a division race.

A couple of big games to repay the fans for 2017 wouldn't be a terrible trade-off, though.