The Dodgers and utilityman Elian Herrera have agreed to a contract, as revealed by Herrera himself via his Twitter account. It’s a minor league deal and Herrera will be invited to the Dodgers’ big league Spring Training camp, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group reports.
Herrera, who turns 31 in February, is back with the club that originally signed him as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2003. He spent his first two MLB seasons with L.A. before being claimed off waivers by Milwaukee following the 2013 campaign. Though Herrera is still a season away from arbitration eligibility, he was non-tendered by the Brewers earlier this month in a move to create roster space.
Over four seasons and 639 plate appearances in the bigs, Herrera has a .253/.306/.360 slash line and eight career homers. Seven of those home runs came last year as Herrera received some significant playing time (277 PA in 83 games) with the Brewers and he posted a .684 OPS. The switch-hitter has generally even career splits from both sides of the plate, though he performed significantly better against righties than lefties in 2015. Herrera also delivered a big .904 OPS in 233 for the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate last year and has put up solid hitting numbers over 3050 minor league PA.
Herrera’s calling card has been his versatility, as he’s made at least 10 starts at second, third, short and all three outfield spots in his Major League career. Most of his playing time has come at second and third, so Herrera could join Micah Johnson as depth behind Chase Utley, or he could be an insurance policy if Justin Turner isn’t fully recovered from knee surgery.