TrueBlueLA, citing Ken Rosenthal, confirms something we’ve been worried about since early December: the Dodgers have signed former Marlins utilityman Alfredo Amezaga to a minor-league contract worth “650K if he makes club plus potential for 800K more in bonuses”.
You’d be surprised, but I don’t hate this as much as you’d think I would. No, he’s not a good player (in parts of 8 seasons spanning nearly 1500 PA, his line is a sparkling .251/.311/.341) and I’m not all that thrilled to have to log into the administrator panel of the blog and add him to the “non roster invite” section you see over at the right.
It’s just that with all of the roster manipulations we’ve been considering since the unexpected signing of a right-handed outfielder in Reed Johnson, the mostly lousy Amezaga may actually save us from the entirely lousy Nick Green and the so-bad-I-may-renounce-my-fandom-if-he-sticks Angel Berroa.
Think about it this way: since the Dodgers don’t appear to have any faith in Chin-Lung Hu and Jamey Carroll can’t really handle the gig, one of this unholy Amezaga/Green/Berroa trio is going to have to make the team as Rafael Furcal’s backup. It’s a sorry situation, but it’s true and I think we all know this.
So, no, Amezaga can’t hit a lick, and we know this. Neither can Green (.239/.307/.352 in over 1100 MLB PA) or Berroa (I won’t sully this blog with his stats).
But he is a plus fielder at SS, 2B, and CF. Green is decent at best at SS, and Berroa, well, he’s basically the worst major leaguer in baseball history. Perhaps most importantly after the signing of Johnson, Amezaga is a switch-hitter, as opposed to the righties Green and Berroa. With a bench leaning heavily towards the right, having a lefty who can handle shortstop could be incredibly valuable. Not that he’s really much of a bat from either side, of course, but it’s still someone who can stand in the correct box with a bat in his hand.
I think it’s clear how desperate the situation is for this roster spot when I’m actually championing Alfredo Amezaga, but this is the pickle we find ourselves in, isn’t it? When you look at the other options… well, I can’t help but agree with TBLA:
Is Amezaga worth a roster spot? In a vacuum, probably not. But, given that the choice is likely between him, Nick Green, or Angel Berroa, I’ll take Amezaga.