The Dodgers initially announced there would be 16 players who would be at camp via the non-roster invite. I recapped that last week. Now, they’ve added four more.
Brandon Beachy, who was re-signed to a major-league deal on Jan. 6. Apparently, he was (quietly) placed on waivers and made it through. The Dodgers outrighted him to Triple-A Oklahoma City and gave him an invite. Basically, they have guaranteed him at least a $1.5 million salary on what is essentially a minor-league deal. You know his story — coming back from two Tommy John surgeries, struggled last year in limited time in the majors, didn’t light up Triple-A. If he can regain any of his Atlanta success, more power to him. The Dodgers probably aren’t expecting it, though.
De Jong (Toronto) and Dirks (Atlanta) were acquired in July for international bonus money, while Rhame was the Dodgers’ 6th-round pick in 2013. De Jong and Rhame are still to come in my Top 100 prospects series (both in the 15-30 range), but Dirks has already placed at No. 48. Here’s some of what I wrote about him:
“He works without truly overpowering stuff, but it has been successful for him thus far. His fastball is a 89-92 MPH offering with a some arm-side movement. Sometimes it’s because his front shoulder opens up, sometimes it’s by design. That’s part of his inconsistency with his command/control. The slider has improved since he turned pro. It was once a slurvy pitch, now it’s a little tighter and a true slider that checks in at 79-81 MPH. He’s able to vary the speed of it, giving hitters a different look. It has an 11-5 break and is equally effective against lefties and righties.”
Classic middle reliever profile, and that’s OK.
Bottom line is, none of these guys — or any of the NRIs, really — have a shot of breaking camp with the team. It’s just nice to get some of these younger guys some experience on the big league side of spring training, even if it is just for a handful of days (once the games start). It’s also a type of reward for a strong 2015 campaign — which all three of these guys had. Rhame is the best bet to make the majors (at some point) of this prospect trio, while De Jong is the most exciting, mainly because he’s a starting pitcher (and likes him some Pretzel M&M’s … #scouting).
I’m not expecting any further additions, as the list is already at 20. But more additions certainly won’t hurt anything.