The Dodgers are acquiring corner infielder Tyler White from the Astros, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). White, who is out of minor league options, was designated for assignment by Houston last week. The Dodgers are sending righty Andre Scrubb to the Astros in the trade, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports (Twitter link).
White, 28, was excellent for the Astros in a limited role from 2017-18 when he batted .277/.349/.531 with 15 homers, 18 doubles and three triples through 304 plate appearances. He was particularly a nuisance against left-handed pitching, slashing .299/.407/.642 in that time. White hasn’t done much against lefties or righties so far in 2019, though. Given a much larger role with the team, he’s managed only a .225/.320/.330 output at the plate. With the emergence of Yordan Alvarez and several injured Astros returning from the IL, there simply wasn’t room on the Houston roster for White.
The Dodgers recently lost a right-handed bat for the foreseeable future when Chris Taylor landed on the injured list with a fractured forearm. While White can’t match Taylor’s defensive versatility, he’s an affordable alternative with .780 OPS (112 wRC+) against left-handed pitching. And with so many other versatile defenders on the roster, the Dodgers likely don’t mind White’s limited defensive skill set as much.
In Scrubb, Houston will acquire a 24-year-old right-hander who is in the midst of a solid season with Double-A Tulsa. The Dodgers’ eighth-round pick in 2016, he’s pitched to a 2.45 ERA with 10.6 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.57 HR/9 and a 53.4 percent ground-ball rate in 47 2/3 innings of work. He’s yet to pitch at the Triple-A level, but Scrubb has a 2.34 ERA and better than 10 punchouts per nine innings in 57 career frames at the Double-A level, suggesting that he could be a near-term bullpen option for the Astros — if not late in the 2019 season then at some point in 2020.