5:56pm: Beaty actually has one option remaining, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic).
3:23pm: The Dodgers announced this afternoon they’ve designated corner infielder/outfielder Matt Beaty for assignment. The move clears space on the 40-man roster for Hanser Alberto, whose previously-reported one-year deal has been made official.
It’s a bit of a surprising move, as Beaty’s coming off an atypically good season for someone who now finds himself in DFA limbo. The left-handed hitter posted a .270/.363/.402 line with seven home runs in 234 plate appearances last year. He wasn’t a huge power threat, with just 12 extra-base hits and a .132 ISO (slugging minus batting average). Yet he made contact on an above-average 81.7% of his swings and drew walks at a roughly league average rate to post a quality batting average and on-base mark.
Beaty has tallied a bit less than one full season’s worth of playing time since debuting in the majors in 2019. He owns a .262/.333/.425 line in 556 career trips to the plate, overall offense that checks in a hair above par by measure of wRC+. He’s not regarded as a great defender anywhere on the diamond, but the 28-year-old has seen a fair bit of action at all four corner spots in L.A.
However, Beaty is out of minor league option years. The Dodgers had to choose between carrying him on the active roster all year or bumping him from the 40-man. They’ve taken the latter course of action. They’ll give the bench role to Alberto instead, seemingly prioritizing the greater defensive flexibility that comes along with him. Alberto isn’t as good a hitter as Beaty, but he’s a solid defensive second baseman who could be an option at shortstop in a pinch.
The Dodgers will have a week to trade Beaty or place him on waivers. Given his solid offensive track record in the big leagues, he could very well land with a team that’s not as deep as the Dodgers are on the position player side. Any acquiring team would also have to keep Beaty on the active roster or DFA him themselves, but it stands to reason he’d have a better chance of sticking as a bat-first utility option off the bench with another club.