A couple of former Dodgers are attempting to revitalizing their playing careers in unorthodox ways this offseason. Charlie Culberson and DJ Peters, who got at-bats with the Dodgers in 2016-2017 and 2021 respectively, are both expected to join other teams on minor-league deals — as pitchers.
Culberson was the more notable Dodger; he hit .455 in the 2017 postseason and hit a home run in Game 2 to give the Dodgers some momentum, though they would eventually go on to lose a close game against the Astros. Peters appeared in 18 major league games in 2021 and hit a meager .192/.382/.385 before being DFA'ed and picked up by the Rangers, though he was thought of as a semi-prominent prospect at the time.
He's had an interesting journey since then, including a yearlong stint the KBO, but has been back in MLB systems since 2022. Now, he'll be reporting back to Texas on a minor-league deal as a pitcher. His deal doesn't include an invitation to spring training.
Former Dodger DJ Peters signs a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers...as a pitcher
Peters does have some experience with pitching in an MLB season; last year, he threw 21 2/3 innings for a 6.23 ERA at the rookie level with the Tigers, but that's about the extent of it. His hitting numbers in Korea in 2022 weren't fantastic — .228/.299/.402 — and he was released by the Lotte Giants before returning to the States on a minor league deal with the Nationals. He elected free agency and went to the Tigers in early 2023, then became a free agent again at the end of the season.
The Rangers giving him another shot on top of a position change is curious, but the Dodgers can't really judge them, as they've also scooped up a number of struggling players and turned them around into stars. Peters' progression through the minors will be fun to track; if he can improve his numbers from last year and become a serviceable reliever even at the upper levels of the minors, it'll be a win for him.