The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized the expected signing of Brett Anderson on Wednesday and in the process designated infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena for assignment to make room for Anderson on the 40-man roster.
While the roster move doesn’t guarantee the end of Arruebarrena’s tenure with the Dodgers, there’s a chance he will make a fourth infielder from the 2014 team who does not return. As his future is currently uncertain, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports the Dodgers previously attempted trading Arruebarrena this winter:
No big surprise to see the Dodgers DFA Erisbel Arruebarrena. Heard they tried to to trade him earlier this winter.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) December 31, 2014
Considering that the Dodgers may have been unable to move the 24-year-old infielder, the chances that a team claims him off waivers may not be high. Arruebarrena signed a five-year, $25 million contract last offseason and any team who makes a claim would be on the hook for the remainder of his deal.
Assuming Arruebarrena isn’t traded within the 10-day timeframe and clears waivers, the Dodgers presumably would send him to Triple-A where he spent a portion of last season. However, they could also opt to eat the remaining salary on his contract and release Arruebarrena, as they did with Brian Wilson.
In 22 games (45 plate appearances) with the Dodgers last season, Arruebarrena hit .195/.244/.220 with one double and four RBIs; of the 22 games, nine were starts. While Arruebarrena struggled at the plate, he’s strong defensively and figures to fit in well with the new front office’s vision.
However, Arruebarrena’s value is slightly diminished with Jimmy Rollins and not Hanley Ramirez now slated to play shortstop. Whereas manager Don Mattingly previously needed to be mindful of having late-game defensive replacements at his disposal, that same concern shouldn’t hold true next season.