The purpose of the moves, of course, is to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft, as Dustin predicted yesterday.
De Jong was not drafted by the Dodgers, but he was a prep draftee in 2012. He has been nothing but good since the Dodgers acquired him from the Blue Jays for international slot money. While his stuff isn’t great, he posted some strong numbers as a 22-year-old in the Texas League. He will likely be protected.
Farmer, 26, is the best catching prospect in the system who is closest to to the majors. A converted shortstop, Farmer has taken to catching rather well. His defense and game-calling are ahead of his bat, which doesn’t have a lot of pop in it. His ceiling is, essentially, a decent backup catcher. With the Dodgers trading Carlos Ruiz, Farmer might very well be the third catcher on the 40-man roster. Of course, the Dodgers could acquire another catcher (young or veteran) or leave a 40-man spot open in case they need to add a third catcher like Jack Murphy or Shawn Zarraga. This is a true toss-up, but I think the Dodgers add him.
Rhame, 23, pitched all season at Triple-A Oklahoma City and was solid: 3.29 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 26.5 K%, .225 BAA. He did get in a little trouble with the walks (10.6 percent), but he might be that kind of pitcher going forward. He has a big fastball and a breaking ball that isn’t terribly consistent. Still, I think the Dodgers add him because he has the kind of arm teams take a chance on in the Rule 5, and he could absolutely break camp with another team as a reliever. I’m not sure he’d make it with the Dodgers out of camp, but if he’s on the 40-man, expect him to pitch sometime for LA in 2017.
So Dustin called it, and while De Jong and Rhame were obvious additions, I was somewhat surprised Farmer was protected given that if Yasmani Grandal or Austin Barnes go down I don’t think they hand the backup job to him.
Dustin also mentioned that he doesn’t expect the Dodgers to select any players in the Rule 5 Draft, which will definitely be the case considering the roster crunch the Dodgers are already suffering under. In fact, the Dodgers almost have to make a trade at this point to clear space on the 40-man roster. Well, unless they don’t plan on acquiring any more players at all, which seems like a bad idea.