The Los Angeles Dodgers lost an outfielder Thursday as Justin Ruggiano cleared waivers and became a free agent by rejecting an outright assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
In identical fashion, Chris Heisey became a free agent on Friday, as he too cleared waivers and rejected an assignment to Oklahoma City. Both players held that right with having over three years of service time in the Majors.
Heisey was acquired by the Dodgers last December in a trade that sent right-handed Minor League pitcher Matt Magill to the Cincinnati Reds. Los Angeles and Heisey avoided arbitration just over one month later by agreeing to a one-year, $2.15 million contract.
The 30-year-old versatile outfielder began the 2015 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, joined the Dodgers for one game on April 22, and was quickly designated for assignment and optioned back to OKC.
Heisey joined the Dodgers on two more stints before getting DFA’d on July 30, then released from the organization on Aug. 7. The Toronto Blue Jays signed the outfielder to a Minor League contract five days later.
Heisey’s time away from the Dodgers was short-lived as Los Angeles re-acquired him in a trade with the Blue Jays just prior to the deadline for players to remain eligible for the postseason roster with their new club.
In 14 games with the Dodgers to close out the season, Heisey hit .207/.342/.448. Overall, he hit .182/.347/.327 with two home runs, nine RBIs, 17 strikeouts, 15 walks a .298 wOBA and 90 wRC+ in 72 plate appearances over 33 games with the Dodgers in 2015.
Heisey’s highlight last season was hitting a grand slam on Sept. 24 against the Arizona Diamondbacks to put Clayton Kershaw in line for a win after the ace was angry with being removed after just five innings of work.
Had Heisey remained on the roster, he was among the players eligible for salary arbitration. In losing Heisey and Ruggiano, the Dodgers currently have nine arbitration-eligible players.