Over a nine-day span that began at the Winter Meetings, the Los Angeles Dodgers remade their middle infield by trading for both Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins. While the new duo has garnered much of the headlines, the Dodgers lost other recognizable names from last season’s roster.
Miguel Rojas was included in the trade with the Miami Marlins and on Wednesday, the Dodgers designated Erisbel Arruebarrena for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Brett Anderson. The news came as somewhat of a surprise given Arruebarrena’s strong glove, though he struggled at the plate and the Dodgers reportedly attempted trading him not too long ago.
In discussing the roster decision, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi pointed to Corey Seager’s steady rise and offseason moves that resulted in Arruebarrena becoming more expendable than he once was, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Just with the guys we brought in, and Corey coming up, it was a position of surplus for us at this point,” Zaidi said. “It’s a moving picture. At the start of the offseason he was very much on the major league depth chart in the middle infield. But after some of the acquisitions we made pushed him further down.
As Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman have worked to remake the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, the general manager said tough decisions come down to who the Dodgers would be comfortable potentially losing:
When it comes to 40-man roster moves, you just have to ask yourself, ‘Who is the guy who you can most afford to be without if you have to?’ It’s always going to be someone at a position of surplus.”
Arruebarrena is owed $16 million over the next four years and if the Dodgers are unable to complete a trade or he goes unclaimed, the 24-year-old would likely be assigned to their Triple-A affiliate.
With Arruebarrena out of the picture, the Dodgers’ infield depth on the 40-man roster now consists of Darwin Barney, who signed a one-year deal in early December; Justin Turner, who was tendered; and Enrique “Kike” Hernandez, a versatile player the Dodgers received in the Marlins trade.