The Los Angeles Dodgers have added a former SF Giants outfielder. Steven Duggar has found a new home after signing a minor league contract with the division rivals. The deal will, presumably, include a camp invite.
Los Angeles Dodgers sign former SF Giants outfielder
Duggar will not have to move too far after finishing the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Angels. He was placed on waivers in September by the Angels and went unclaimed. Rather than accept a minor league assignment, the 29-year-old outfielder chose to become a free agent.
The Dodgers are seemingly looking for at least one left-handed-hitting outfielder after Cody Bellinger and Joey Gallo departed via free agency. Duggar fits that description, but so do recent additions Jason Heyward and Bradley Zimmer.
Duggar is not too far removed from a surprisingly strong season. In 2021, the left-handed bat slashed .257/.330/.437 (106 OPS+) with eight home runs, 35 RBI, and 45 runs in 297 plate appearances. This included a 9.1 percent walk rate against a 29.6 percent strikeout rate.
This breakout campaign was unlikely to be sustainable as it was due in part to a .355 BABIP. That said, the Giants were hoping that he could maintain an average bat given his stellar defense in center field. That type of profile adds good value overall.
However, the five-year veteran struggled to the tune of a .509 OPS in 39 plate appearances before hitting the injured list with an oblique strain. He never returned to San Francisco as the Giants shipped him to the Texas Rangers just before being activated from the injured list in exchange for former top prospect Willie Calhoun.
His struggles continued with the Rangers and was eventually placed on waivers where he was scooped up by the Angels. In total, the former Giants prospect registered a .447 OPS in 80 plate appearances in 2022.
The Dodgers have been unusually quiet this offseason with the exception of re-signing Clayton Kershaw and adding power-hitting bat J.D. Martinez. They appear to be relying on players like Duggar to carve out a role for next season, rather than making the high-profile move like they have done in recent offseasons. This could bode well for the speedy outfielder.