On Friday the Dodgers announced their 40-man roster and list of non-roster invitees scheduled to attend major league spring training camp, which officially begins on Wednesday morning, February 15, 2017 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. As of this writing the team will send 33 position players and 32 pitchers to camp, including 22 non-roster invitees.
That “as of this writing” thing is significant because on Friday evening it was reported that the Dodgers had signed veteran outfielder (and former Dodger) Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year / $2.6 million major league contract with an additional $400,000 possible in incentives. And although the Dodgers have yet to formally announce the deal for the soon-to-be 34-year-old (on February 21) Caracas, Venezuela native, his signing will force a corresponding move to the already overcrowded 40-man roster, with veteran right-hander Sergio Romo also yet to be added.
Gutierrez, who was initially drafted by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 2000, has 11 years of major league service – four with the Cleveland Indians and seven with the Seattle Mariners. He has the dubious distinction of having been traded by the Dodgers to Indians on April 3, 2004 (along with fellow minor leaguer Andrew Brown) for troubled outfielder Milton Bradley.
In his 11 big league seasons, Gutierrez posted a career slash-line of .257 / .311 / .409 for an OPS of .720. He has 96 career home runs and 353 career RBIs. But there is zero doubt that the primary reason why the Dodgers elected to sign the 6’2″ / 200-pound outfielder is his career .289 batting average against lefties. That said, he joins a spring training camp that already had 13 guys vying for three starting outfield jobs.
But wait … there’s more!
Late Friday night it was reported that 38-year-old veteran second baseman Chase Utley had re-signed with the Dodgers for a yet-to-be-confirmed one-year contract believed to be in the $8 million range. While there is little doubt that Utley’s role will be that of a utility bench player at second and third base, his re-signing is far more important to the team to continue his mentoring of Dodgers 2016 Rookie of the Year shortstop Corey Seager.
“You never say never with a guy like Chase just because of the type of guy he is and the impact that he has,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters during a January 23, 2017 press conference.
As it stands right now (enter that “as of this writing” thing again), here are the players scheduled to attend spring training 2017 for the Dodgers; but here again, three spots must be cleared on the team’s 40-man roster to make room for Romo, Gutierrez and now Utley:
Dodgers current 43-man roster:
|70||Chase De Jong||L/R||6’4″||205lbs||12/29/1993|
|33||Scott Van Slyke||R/R||6’4″||215lbs||7/24/1986|
|*||(not yet on 40-man roster)|