According to MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman), the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed outfielder Jordan Schafer to a Minor League contract.
Schafer was once a highly-touted prospect in the Atlanta Braves farm system, even rising as high as #25 overall on Baseball America’s 2008 Top 100 list, and #17 overall on Baseball Prospectus’ version that same year.
As Heyman notes, it’s a Minor League deal with a $1 million salary if he reaches the Majors:
Jordan schafer agrees to dodgers minors deal. $1M in majors.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2016
Schafer’s best professional season came in 2013, where he hit .247, accumulated 1.1 Wins Above Replacement, and posted a .303 wOBA. Unfortunately, he has never really been able to stick as a full-time player. He’s spent time with the Braves, Houston Astros, and Minnesota Twins before Minnesota released him in June of last year.
The left-handed outfielder might be able to crack the opening day roster with a good spring, but he’s nothing more than a fourth outfielder at this point. It is an interesting signing, though, considering Schafer was the first player to be suspended by Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations. That came in April 2008 when he was suspended 50 games for HGH use.
At 29 years old, it’s now or never for Schafer.