The twin dimwits in the front office have gone dumpster diving once again, and this time they’ve found some prime trash. For whatever reason the duo has decided to sign left handed hitting outfielder Will Venable to a major league contract. The 33-year old will go right onto the major league roster as the Dodgers announced they’ve optioned catcher/second baseman Austin Barnes to Oklahoma City to clear room for the veteran.
Dodgers add LH bat — sign free agent OF Will Venable, option Austin Barnes to OKC.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) June 14, 2016
Once upon a time Venable was a decent player that could hit for some power, play a good outfield defense and run the bases well. Now he’s just way past his prime and hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2015.
At one time Venable slugged 22 home runs and stole 20 or more bases in four consecutive seasons. Venable is a .251 career hitter with a .317 OBP and 81 home runs across 8 major league seasons. Venable spent most of his career in San Diego and has 135 career stolen bases. He was originally drafted by the Padres in the seventh round of the 2005 draft and made his MLB debut in 2008.
The Padres dumped Venable during the 2015 season trading him to the Texas Rangers for minor leaguer Marcus Greene. Venable batted .182 in 82 plate appearances with Texas before he was granted free agency at the end of the season. Venable has split time between the Cleveland Indians organization and the Phillie’s triple-A club this year. He batted .205 in 149 plate appearances in the independent league so I expect him to fit right in with the rest of the Mendoza line hitters on the Dodger’s roster.
This is Friedman’s solution to the offensive problems? Bringing in another guy who can’t hit above .200? It wouldn’t surprise me to see Dave Roberts batting Venable lead-off as soon as he arrives.