The Los Angeles Dodgers made a move to bolster their depth at catcher, signing Rocky Gale to a minor league contract.
The deal was first reported by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Gale will receive an invitation to the Dodgers big league Spring Training camp.
It seems unlikely that Gale is going to be on the opening day roster, though. Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes are the obvious options at catcher for the Dodgers.
Gale would have to leap-frog some serious competition to factor into any type of meaningful discussion regarding the opening day roster.
Luckily for him, he didn’t have to make any huge relocation efforts in signing with the Dodgers. Gale was designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres recently to make room for the newly acquired Eric Hosmer.
Gale spent time in the majors in 2015 and 2017. He has played in 14 career games and has 20 at-bats in those stints. He has two career hits, the most recent of which was a home run that came last season.
Maybe Gale will ultimately get some major league time next season, although that would likely mean the Dodgers were hampered by injuries at the catcher position.
Both Grandal and Barnes are coming off solid seasons, and it appears that the switch-hitting Grandal and the right-handed hitting Barnes will settle into some type of platoon.
Grandal hit 22 home runs last season, while Barnes had an OPS of .895. That was the highest of any catcher with at least 200 at-bats last season.
Barnes also ranked 11th among catchers in the majors in WAR, while Grandal ranked 15th in that same category.
Barnes got the majority of playing time during the postseason, but Grandal avoided arbitration with the Dodgers back in January and agreed to a one-year deal worth $7.9 million for this upcoming season.
Depth is a crucial element over the course of a grueling season. The Dodgers have two great catchers to utilize, and perhaps Gale can assist the team at the big league level if injuries occur.
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