Bradley Zimmer signed a Minor League contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason as a potential option to play center field. However, he did not make the Opening Day roster and began the 2023 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers ended up releasing Zimmer on May 18, which made him a free agent.
After just one day on the market, the Boston Red Sox signed Zimmer to a Minor League deal. He was assigned to Triple-A Worcester on May 20, and presumably will make his debut with them on Saturday or Sunday.
In 31 games with the OKC Dodgers, Zimmer batted just .219/.322/.343, good for a .655 on-base plus slugging percentage, with three home runs, 14 RBI, 18 runs scored and eight stolen bases.
The 30-year-old has spent parts of six seasons at the Major League level, most notably spending five years with the Cleveland Guardians from 2017-21, before splitting time between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays in 2022.
Over his career, Zimmer has hit .213/.298/.333 with 21 home runs, 91 RBI, 121 runs scored and 42 stolen bases in 975 plate appearances in the Majors. Zimmer has never produced much with his bat, but he has made a career as a valuable defender in center field, thus accumulating a 2.8 career WAR despite only mustering a 73 wRC+.
The path to join the Dodgers roster likely wasn’t there with Mookie Betts, James Outman, David Peralta, Jason Heyward, Trayce Thompson, Chris Taylor and Michael Busch all ahead of Zimmer on the depth chart, along with prospects Johnny DeLuca and Andy Pages joining OKC this week.
Now part of the Red Sox organization, Zimmer could eventually become a backup to their starting outfield group of Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran and Alex Verdugo. Boston currently has Raimel Tapia and Rob Refsnyder as their primary backups.
Which outfielders are on Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers roster?
Even after losing Zimmer, the OKC Dodgers still have a quality group of outfielders that provide solid depth and potential for the Major League roster.
The group is led by the prospects, DeLuca and Pages, although the latter is currently on the seven-day injured list. In addition, Drew Avans, Ryan Ward and Steven Duggar have received plenty of playing time for OKC.
Of those three, Duggar has MLB experience and could potentially fill in for the Dodgers during the season if they need a bat for a day or two. Duggar would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but he would be easy to DFA after, as L.A. did with Dylan Covey following his Dodgers debut.
But even if Duggar doesn’t get a shot with the big league club, he provides veteran experience to a young group, which can provide some value to the organization.
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