In 2019 and 2020, Hanser Alberto was an absolute lefty masher, batting .394 with a .532 slugging percentage off southpaws across those two seasons. When the Dodgers signed him in March, they weren’t necessarily expecting that kind of production, but they were definitely looking for production against lefties.
In 2022, though, Alberto posted just a .680 OPS against lefties, a frustrating combination of never taking a walk and never hitting for power. His defensive versatility was useful, but to be honest, the biggest contributions Alberto made to the Dodgers were his 11 innings on the mound and his infectious enthusiasm in the dugout.
The question becomes: Does he bring enough to the table to bring him back? The Dodgers hold a $2 million team option with a $250,000 buyout, and that is right in the sweet spot where it’s a relatively tiny amount of money but it’s still questionable whether it’s worth it.
In the 2022 postseason, Los Angeles left Alberto off the NLDS roster, properly recognizing they could get 99 percent of his value by having him as a non-roster player on the bench. It makes you wonder how much he’s in their plans for 2023.
On a team that many fans think lacked excitement, what enthusiasm they did have was often provided by Hanser. But what he didn’t provide was much value towards actually winning games, which is presumably what they’ll be looking for.
Since the money isn’t really an issue, the Dodgers might pick up Alberto’s option in the hopes that he can get back to his lefty-mashing ways early in the season. But he’d probably be among the first on the DFA chopping block if he doesn’t regain his prior form and the team finds itself in need of a roster spot.
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