The Dodgers have agreed to a deal with outfielder Will Venable, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick first reported (via Twitter). He has been signed directly onto the major league roster, with Los Angeles optioning Austin Barnes to free a roster spot.
[Related: Updated Los Angeles Dodgers depth chart]
Venable previously signed deals with the Indians and Phillies, neither of which were willing to give him a crack at the majors. The 33-year-old did compile 149 plate appearances at Triple-A in the Philadelphia organization, hitting just .205/.304/.307 in that span before opting out of his deal.
A left-handed hitter, Venable could step into the role vacated by Carl Crawford, who was released recently. Venable is generally viewed as a quality defender and good baserunner, and while his bat has been inconsistent, he does have a strong .256/.324/.422 batting line against right-handed pitching.
Dodgers: we need bullpen help badly, so let’s sign another outfielder
Teams have used fielders to pitch an inning before, maybe that’s the plan lol.
And one who is even less useful than the outfielder they just paid $35M to go away. But I’m sure the fans of the Whiz Kids will have an explanation for how a player who couldn’t find a place on the rosters of the mighty Phillies and Indians is worth an active roster spot on the Dodgers.
I suppose his ability to play center field is a plus; the Dodgers don’t really have any backup center fielders and Crawford’s defense even in left was unacceptable.
True, but Hernandez has been useful in that role and I don’t see the advantage of Venable when he opens up another black hole in an already anemic lineup.
The Dodgers currently have the second ranked bullpen in the National League. It’s the best bullpen in the league if you measure by OPS.
This team’s problems stem from having four major offensive players having down years so far: Puig, Turner, Gonzalez, and Grandal.
Enough about relief pitching or pitching in general. That’s not the problem.
And Venable would have come in very handy last night in the 8th. Sending up Kike Hernandez in that spot (bases loaded, 1 out, down by 1, tough righty closer on the mound) virtually ended their chances. With no lefty on the bench to come up, Hernandez was an easy out.
our bp has been great as of late..its the offense i’m worried… 28th out of 30 teams in terms of BA
Yes because there are so many great relievers on the market right now. Venebal is a filler until or if ethier comes back or a move is made at the deadline. The bullpen isn’t the big issue right now if you’ve watched it by far has been the offense. Now Venable isn’t a mainstay but it’ll just be a placeholder
Dodgers are desperately needing offense, their pitching staff has settled in lately, but they can’t score runs. Last night got the bases loaded with one out and could get anything across. With that being said, Venable is not the answer to any problem the Dodgers have currently.
Does seem a bit odd; why not just keep Crawford? The skill set is basically the same and they’re roughly the same age. I guess Venable is willing to play in the minors and Crawford probably wasn’t.
Venable has good at bats and actually looks like a major leaguer- even when making an out or striking out. Unlike Crawford who looked TERRIBLE for most of his outs. Over matched and embarrassed
Outs are outs, but by your thesis, Pederson should definitely go too, so he can replaced by someone who make prettier outs.
Again over matched and embarrassed for most of his at bats. If you don’t know the difference and what a good looking at bat is – that yes makes an out – then you obviously aren’t all that into baseball. And ignorant comment about Joc. Yeah that’s makes sense
Sure that must be it. All those huge swings and misses at high fastballs that take him right out from under his helmet look beautiful. BTW a reminder, I wasn’t the one suggesting that ugly swings are an issue, but if you want to talk picture-perfect swings I’d go with Cory Seager.
He’s a 5th OF/Defensive replacement. Lost in Crawford’s struggles at the plate, and inability to stay healthy – was his progressively declining defense. Carl Crawford had literally nothing going for him.
Venable can at least contribute with the glove.
To the original poster – if you’re saying, because the Dodgers need a bullpen arm, that they shouldn’t make any other moves to try and improve, you’d make an awful GM.
So batting two bucks in the minors looks like active roster material to you? At his best Venable isn’t good enough to be on the active roster of a contender and he’s far from at his best.
We don’t need another awful GM. We’ve already got one.
He plays defense and can hit RH. He’s hitting .205 because he’s not an everyday player. He’s an ethier placeholder l. He won’t be with them for very long.
I would not count on Ethier, he is making very slow progress. Back before the middle of August would be a surprise, and in any form to contribute before September seems doubtful. This kind of holding pattern move tells me that we’re basically done for the season. The Giants are short outfielders too but they are looking at Ryan Braun. We get Will Venable. Tells you everything you need to know about the two FO’s plans.
It’s six weeks before the trading deadline, and the Giants have picked up scraps, too. Much too early to tell.
I’d like to think we have a kid in the Minors who could step into a 5th outfielder/Glove type role.
He’s certainly not up for his bat, he’s there as a late inning defensive replacement.
The Dodgers actually need someone who can hold a glove late in games – can’t exactly look to SVS as a quality defensive replacement.
He’s an upgrade over Carl Crawford because he actually fills a need. Carl Crawford filled space.
No that’s the problem. Verdugo, Calhoun, and Bellinger are by far their best of prospects and are in AA. They are a year away and you don’t stunt their development. Everyone in AAA is a retread. The problem is CC was done. Ethier has been on the shelf and your defensive replacement has turned into a solid player probably never a superstar but a much needed sold player. I think people should take this move for what it is. Venable isn’t brought here to be a star player or a regular just to fill in every now and then.
In terms of Outfielders. Johnson and Barnes who knows they’ll probably be shipped out.
I get Crawford has been bad, but Venable is hardly an upgrade. Roberts knows him well though and Venable is better defensively
Does this mean Ethier died? Or does it mean what it looks like it means: nothing.
Does this move actually make them any better? I doubt it. It’s merely window dressing on an underperforming roster. I’ve seen this play before AND it always ends up without a championship. If Theo bolts Chicago after this season, I’d say grab him and move on from this experiment.
You answered your own question. The Dodgers aren’t contenders and anyone who thought that was the plan should see now that the charade is over.
SeniorE, I saw the Giants pick up Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria, and the corpse of Aubrey Huff on the way to three championships. Don’t be so quick to judge.
Great just what we need another outfielder who can’t hit their weight!!! What is going on in the front office?????
Same old same old. But be careful what you say around here about the Whiz Kids, somebody is liable to try to hand your head to you. They are after all the Smartest People in the Room, and they have the certificates to prove it.
That’s incredibly condescending. It’s quite rich, generalizing other people’s attitudes – by speaking like that.
It isn’t condescending, it’s accurate reporting. In fact condescension is what I get from somebody here every single time I question what this FO is doing. I am told that I just don’t “get it.”
There are always bad apples – but I don’t think people who are genuinely trying to understand and analyze the game better, should be tarred with the brush of being “the smartest people in the room” or obtuse.
Unfortunately, for every person who acts high and mighty about analytics, there’s an equal who tries to chop others down whilst burying their head in the sand to avoid development.
Why can’t we be friends..why can’t we be friends..
Hey sorry, I did not mean to offend. You’ve always been reasonable. Actually I was referring to the Dodgers FO guys. They are the ones who are supposed to be the smartest in the room.
Aha, I feel you. My bad for jumping to conclusions! You’re a passionate blue fan – so we’re pulling the same direction.
No harm no foul!
You understand the opposite corollary is thee Diamondbacks – proudly opposed to analytics, and much much worse than the Dodgers.
Pitching has been good recently, and MAYBE one of the injured pitchers will return soon. But this move isn’t bad, Venable is going to be a bench player who can fill in nicely defensively. Just because its not going to make the team a whole lot better doesn’t mean its a bad move. This makes me think of the Alberto Callaspo trade last year, Its not really going to move the needle either way,
The dodgers real problem his getting a hit with RISP. That is why we dropped the last three 1-run games and got eliminated by the Mets last year.
Also food for thought, why not experiment with Cody Bellinger, lefty who can hit and play outfield, and also first base.
As a Padre fan who watched Venable play for years I can tell you he’s not going to help you get hits with RISP.
I’m not sure why bluesky is hating on this move? CC can’t field, Veneable can. If there were some awesome offensive answers on the free agent/signable from a minor league deal market in june, i’m sure the dodgers would be in on them too, but those players aren’t free agents in june.
Maybe I am being the most vocal, but do you see anybody loving on this move?
Let’s see where Braun ends up.
Considering that we had four RH bats capable of playing the OF (counting Howie) and only one LH bat who could play out there, this makes sense.
I mean, CC was obviously cooked; why not give Veneable the occasional AB from the left side? He can cover all three OF spots defensively, and he costs next to nothing.
He costs a roster slot, that’s all I care about. I see Venable as just another one of those players who weren’t good enough to be kept on other teams’ rosters but somehow is good enough for the LA Dodgers.
You have to admit BlueSkyLA, this FO has done good. Admittedly most of it has to do with not trading Seager or Urias. Trading Dee Gordon looked like a terrible move last year, but now that we know he was juiced to produce those numbers, and the Marlins gave him the extension, it doesn’t look so bad.
Same with the Hector Olveria trade, We got Alex Wood, and he looked great this year before hitting the DL, and we got Jose Pereza which we flipped for Trayce Thompson (and others) who is the dodgers best offensive player this year other than Seager.
The dog that didn’t bark. Yeah, I get the theory and I agree with it to some extent. But I don’t see where they needed to sacrifice major assets to upgrade, especially down the stretch last season when the Dodgers were a legitimate #3 starter and a middle reliever away from advancing in the postseason.
With all due respect were they really. It was clearly evident against DeGrom in game 5 when they had him consistently on the ropes but ABs were so bad that they couldn’t chase him. The same thing different year. You had Turner on a bad knee, Grandal on a bad shoulder, Pederson in a free fall, and teams were starting to get the book on Kikè. That is a huge portion of the lineup.
This year Gonzo is definitely hurting. Grandal hasn’t hit (which makes sense with lack of ST and top hand injury), Kendrick was just not Kendrick out of the gates, Turner who just now started to heat up, Pederson is still growing up (which can be painful at times but is encouraging). Ethier on the shelf. Kikè still hasn’t made the adjustment. It is also becoming clearly evident Kikè is best suited on the inf. It all fine and dandy to criticize the FO but let’s look at the whole picture. Not much they can do with the aging mess that Colletti left. You weren’t going to fine takers for CC. Ethier was insurance and very expensive insurance. Guerrrero wasn’t going to last.
This team has been buoyed by Utley, Seager and Thompson. I’d take Thompson over a train wreck in Kemp and a .208 Frazier. The scrapped Chapman trade has been a blessing in disguise. The pitching staff has been fine their offense has been dreadful. What we’ve seen so far is that they are going to play defense, pitch, and run bases. What missing is hitting consistency. Venable may not be a mainstay sure he’s scrap heap, but so was Ruggiano. To think he’s going to be here forever is just unrealistic especially with Puig coming off the DL on Monday. All that said as terrible as they have played somehow they are still in striking distance. Like I’ve consistently said wait to judge this FO on what they do at the deadline because that will tell you everything.
I didn’t see anyone suggest that Venable would be here forever, or even for very long. I certainly did not. The question is whether he fixes any problem that this team has actually got. As for how the FO plays it at the deadline, my current opinion of them is based on their performance at the deadline last year. As usual we saw the teams that got what the needed advance in the postseason. It’s no mystery why the Dodgers failed to do so.
My sense of the big picture is that this is a rebuilding year in all but name, and that the Whiz Kids were hired to take this payroll down, and make Dodgers Inc. more profitable. Whether they were also hired to win championships remains to be seen. This fan will continue to judge them on results, not on some paper theory.
The front office can’t hit for these guys. Enough bashing of the moves that weren’t made. The simple fact is that the pitching has not been the issue thus far. Four top guys not hitting who should be is the entire story. Nobody expected that.
Okay, so can we bash some of the moves that were made? As far as the pitching is concerned, the middle relief was a train wreck until the last few weeks. So yes, it is better now by a long shot, especially since Roberts gave up using Hatcher in high-leverage situations (or much at all), but those weeks of awful relief already account for 8-10 losses. The pen is also now relying heavily on two reclamation cases in Fien and Coleman. Maybe they can sustain their comebacks for the entire season, but that is always a long-shot proposition. So while hitting is a big part of the story now, keep in mind that this team has been breakeven all season long, for one reason or another. So it’s fair to ask after more than a third of the season has been played whether the FO plan is working out.
Well then again bullpen arms didn’t want to come to LA (o day) n chapman turned out to be a lil crazy so what were they do do . Greinkie does not fix the bullpen or health.
I get your point, but ask yourself if you would want to take this rotation into a postseason.