Dodgers Reportedly Sign Center Fielder Travis Witherspoon
The Los Angeles Dodgers officially opened Spring Training Feb. 19 and held their first full-squad workout on Thursday. In the days between, they’ve signed Brandon Beachy, Chad Gaudin and Dustin McGowan to add to their growing collection of pitching depth.
On Friday, the Dodgers’ group of outfielders in camp reportedly grew by one as they signed center fieler Travis Witherspoon, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America:
#Dodgers sign Travis Witherspoon, a rangy CF with intriguing power/speed potential who has played in #Angels and #Mariners systems.
— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) February 27, 2015
Although the club has not confirmed the signing as of this writing, J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News reported Witherspoon is in camp on a Minor-League deal:
OF Travis Witherspoon is in #Dodgers camp on a minor-league deal. Was on #Angels' 40-man roster a couple years ago. @MattEddyBA reported 1st
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) February 27, 2015
With Witherspoon signed, it increases the total number of players in camp with the Dodgers to 62. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Witherspoon in the 12th round of the 2009 draft and he remained with the organization through 2013.
The 25 year old (26 on April 16) then spent last season playing with the Seattle Mariners’ High-A affiliate, during which he hit .252/.338/.448 with 15 home runs, 44 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 99 games played.
During his six seasons in the Minors, Witherspoon has never advanced past the Double-A level, where he played in 2012 and 2013. Over the course of the two years, he hit a combined .210/.295/.345 with 39 stolen bases — with 30 coming in 2013.
A career .251/.325/.407 batter in 622 Minor-League games, the Witherspoon signing figures to be nothing more than organizational depth that the front office has simultaneously focused on while attempting to upgrade the Major-League roster.
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And the intrigue deepens!
Wasn’t that guy Heavyweight Champeen of the World for a minute?