Dodgers second baseman Ryan Theriot will be eligible for arbitration for the second time this winter. He will earn $2.6MM this season after losing his arbitration case with the Cubs last offseason, when he filed for $3.4MM.
Theriot, 30, hit .284/.320/.327 in 412 plate appearances while playing both second base and shortstop for Chicago before being sent to the Dodgers in the Ted Lilly trade at the deadline. In 132 plate appearances as Los Angeles' everyday second baseman, The Riot has hit .307/.380/.377, drawing nearly as many unintentional walks (13) as he did with the Cubs (16) in 280 fewer plate appearances. UZR pegs him as an average defender at second, but well below that level at short.
It's tough to imagine GM Ned Colletti acquiring a player only to non-tender him a few months later, but he has to at least entertain the option with Theriot. A career .288/.352/.363 hitter, Theriot received a $2.1MM raise last offseason, and a strong finish with the Dodgers could bump his salary up another $2MM this offseason. The free agent market looks to be flooded with light hitting middle infielders that could approximate Theriot's production for a fraction of the cost.
Remember, Colletti doesn't have to non-tender Theriot only to let him walk. He could attempt to re-sign him at a lesser salary, perhaps exchanging a second guaranteed year for a salary discount.