Even as we're in the midst of the postseason, the Dodgers still find a way to make a roster move to be better next season. Well... Maybe not to markedly improve, so much as to take a flyer on a player who is likely no worse than who we eventually designated for assignment.
Announced yesterday evening, the Dodger have claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the New York Mets. He was immediately placed on the 40-man roster. In turn, outfielder Alex Castellanos was DFA'd.
Per a Dodgers press release:
Baxter, 28, has appeared in 194 big league games with the Padres (2010) and Mets (2011-13), compiling a .229 batting average with 22 doubles, four triples, four homers and 26 RBI and appearing at all three outfield positions as well as first base. Baxter was originally selected by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University.If Castellanos isn't claimed by another club, he is likely to remain in our the minor league system. As you may know, Castellanos originally came to the Dodgers as a part of the trade that sent Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals in 2011. It was hoped that he would develop into a major league caliber outfielder, but poor starts in his few opportunities and the recent logjam on the "Big Club" have stalled his chances. The Dodgers are looking for depth, and Baxter provides a better option. As to why players like Justin Sellers or Elian Herrera were not DFA's instead, I would say that they have more worth due to being good-glove infielders.
Castellanos, 27, appeared in eight games with the Dodgers this season and has a .171 batting average with two homers and four RBI in 24 career big league games.
In celebration of Baxter's arrival, I made the above fantasy card of Baxter using a Getty Images photo from Mets Photo Day and the vintage 1974 Topps Baseball card design.
Below are his career stats, via Baseball Reference:
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