The Dodgers have done us all a solid and designated Carl Crawford for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster and likely ending his career with this franchise. They’re replacing him on the roster with Austin Barnes, who has been recalled from AAA.
I, of course, am a super genius for predicting this last night.
Dodgers, plz. pic.twitter.com/yeoBPVux43
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) June 5, 2016
No, but really, I only had an inkling of it because of this anonymous guy with almost no followers who rarely tweets anything.
@ChadMoriyama CC gone
— Black Beard (@TheBeardofBlack) June 5, 2016
In retrospect, he did seem oddly sure of himself and didn’t do much attention whoring about it, so it would be an oddly specific thing to suddenly start tweeting to me about if he didn’t know.
In any case, with the move, the Dodgers are eating about $35 million dollars total this season and next season just to be rid of Carl. He was hitting .185/.230/.235/.464 on the year while playing poor defense in left field, still being injured off-and-on, and not running the bases like he used to, so he had little utility on the roster any longer.
While people believe his entire career as a Dodger was a waste, people forget that CC was actually useful in 2013-14, which is why his overall line as a Dodger is .278/.320/.400/.720 and not far worse. CC was also one of the few Dodgers who produced in the 2013 and 2014 postseason runs, putting up a .305/.339/.542/.881 line in 14 games. However, time just seemed to catch up with him quickly, and while the timing of this seemed to make little sense with Yasiel Puig on the disabled list and the Dodgers now lacking a left-handed bench bat, CC was just diminished to the point where it was addition by subtraction and I’m glad the front office had the stones to cut him and eat the sunk cost.
It goes down as a rather remarkable fall from grace for a four-time All-Star who was a seven WAR player as recently as 2010.
As for Carl Crawford’s replacement, Austin Barnes is an incredibly versatile player, who just this year has played catcher, second, third, and center in the minors. While he has an unimpressive slash line in the MLB of .182/.321/.227/.548 through 54 plate appearances, he has a .301/.391/.434/.825 slash in the minors, which would seem to indicate he can at least get on base at an acceptable clip if he gets a bit more lucky on batted balls. That’s plenty adequate, especially if he’s going to be catching.
In AAA this year, Barnes had a .306/.413/.375/.788 line and stole 12 bases against being caught twice so far, which should give hints about his athleticism. As a catcher, he draws quality reviews for his receiving skills, so there shouldn’t be a problem if he’s inserted there with this pitching staff.
While Barnes does provide the roster with impressive utility, more important right now, he seems to provide the team with a better chance for a quality plate appearance, and that’s something they desperately need.