Turning the page on 2012, the Dodgers declined their options on outfielder Juan Rivera ($4 million, $500,000 buyout), Todd Coffey ($2.5 million, $300,000 buyout) and Matt Treanor ($950,000, $150,000 buyout) for 2013.
All three were easy calls.
Rivera, unsurprisingly, was a waste of $4 million for the Dodgers. He hit just .244/.286/.375 in 312 at-bats last season while typically starting at first base or in left field against left-handed pitching. Now 34, he might not be in line for anything more than a minor league deal this winter.
Coffey had a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings before going down with elbow soreness and requiring Tommy John surgery. He figures to miss at least the first two months of next season, so he’s another in line for a minor league contract.
Treanor hit .175/.281/.282 in 103 at-bats as the backup to A.J. Ellis. Now that the Dodgers have gone from bargain hunters to big spenders, they’ll be looking for a backup with a bit more pop this winter.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.