With Dodgers pitchers and catchers due to report for spring training on Wednesday morning and position players five days later, the Dodgers will need to trim their current 40-man roster to accommodate recently acquired veteran right-hander Sergio Romo, veteran outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and returning veteran second baseman Chase Utley. And while the one obvious move is placing 26-year-old right-hander Yimi Garcia – who underwent Tommy John surgery on October 25, 2016 – on the 60-day disabled list, the team must still move two addition current 40-man roster spot holders to make room for their other two recent additions.
In looking at the Dodgers current 43-man roster (so to speak), several have options remaining. The obvious problem with simply optioning two (or more) of them back to Triple-A Oklahoma City is that they must remain on the 40-man roster unless they are designated for assignment, clear waivers and then are willing to accept a minor league assignment (which they probably would). And though this is probably the path that the Dodgers will end up taking, it most certainly comes with the risk of losing whoever it is that they designate to any one of the other 29 MLB teams who you can bet will be keeping a very close eye on the pending moves made by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi.
The other option that the Dodgers have to clear the two additional roster spots needed is, of course, to outright release two current 40-man roster spot holders. And while this seems far less likely than designating two guys for assignment, the simple truth is that it may come down to this.
So who goes? Who would the Dodgers either DFA or outright release to make room for Romo, Gutierrez and Utley?
As painful as it may be, a few of the more likely names to be among the fateful two include veteran utility outfielder / first baseman Scott Van Slyke (out of options), so-called super utility Kiké Hernandez (one option remaining), utility infielder Chris Taylor (one option remaining) and utility infielder Rob Segedin (three options remaining). And while there are also several pitchers with options remaining who could also be DFA’d (or outrighted), this seems less likely than the tit-for-tat moving of like position players. That being said, it’s no secret that the Dodgers have a great deal of pitching depth down on the farm and DFA’ing (or outrighting) one or more of the current 21 pitchers on their 40-man roster (excluding Garcia) is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Regardless of what the Dodgers elect to do, you can count on it happening very soon. After all, the Dodgers have not yet officially announced the acquisitions of Romo, Gutierrez or Utley, which will undoubtedly come when the corresponding roster move to accommodate them are made.