The Dodgers have agreed to a minor league deal with catcher Rocky Gale, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter link). The contract includes an invitation to the Dodgers’ big league Spring Training camp. Gale was released by the Padres earlier this week after being designated for assignment to create roster space for the newly-signed Eric Hosmer.
A 24th-round pick for San Diego in the 2010 draft, Gale spent his entire pro career in the Padres organization, hitting .259/.306/.324 over 2198 minor league plate appearances. He made brief appearances at the MLB level in both 2015 and 2017, appearing in a total of 14 Major League games.
Los Angeles already has Austin Barnes and Yasmani Grandal handling duties behind the plate on the 25-man roster, so Gale will join Shawn Zarraga and Kyle Farmer as the Dodgers’ top depth options at the minor league level. There was some trade speculation surrounding Grandal since the veteran catcher is just a year away from free agency and Barnes emerged as a legitimate starter in 2017, though nothing seemed to develop in the way of legitimate buzz about a possible move. It seems much more plausible that L.A. will deploy both Grandal and Barnes this season and any other catching signings are pure depth moves.