The Dodgers have signed outfielder Kole Calhoun and left-hander Mike Montgomery to minor league contracts, according to an announcement from Triple-A communications director Alex Freedman (Twitter link). They’ll each join the organization’s highest affiliate in Oklahoma City. The Dodgers also assigned reliever Zack Burdi outright to OKC after he went unclaimed on waivers, per the transactions log at MLB.com.
Calhoun hit free agency earlier in the week when he opted out of a non-roster deal with the Yankees. The 11-year MLB veteran had a solid month in New York’s system, hitting .281/.390/.528 in 23 games. He hit four home runs and walked in a strong 12.4% of his plate appearances. Nevertheless, the Yankees opted against bringing him up as part of a corner outfield that has been a revolving door aside from Aaron Judge.
That’s a reflection of Calhoun’s recent struggles against big league pitching. He’d been a productive player for a while with the Angels and D-Backs but has fallen on hard times since 2021. The 35-year-old owns a .208/.269/.343 slash over his past 606 MLB plate appearances. He’s yet to crack the majors this year.
He’ll try to change that in L.A., where the Dodgers recently placed Trayce Thompson on the injured list. Los Angeles brought up Jonny DeLuca to replace him and has lost prospect Andy Pages for the year to shoulder surgery. That pair of developments has thinned the Triple-A depth.
Montgomery, 34 next month, is trying to get back to the highest level for the first time since 2020. The southpaw has appeared for three different major league teams and is best known for his time with the Cubs, where he saved Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. He’s had a tough go over the past few seasons, including a 6.72 ERA in Triple-A with the Mets last year. Montgomery had signed with a Mexican League club for 2023 but didn’t wind up making any appearances there.
As for Burdi, he’s landed on waivers a few times of late. The Dodgers claimed him from Tampa Bay two weeks ago but didn’t use him in a major league game. He’s pitched three times with the Rays this year, allowing six runs in four innings. The hard-throwing righty has an 8.44 ERA in 21 1/3 frames over parts of three seasons.
Burdi has previously gone unclaimed on waivers in his career. As a result, he’ll have the ability to elect minor league free agency and explore other opportunities if he doesn’t want to stick in Oklahoma City.