The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Dennis Santana to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Minor League pitcher Kelvin Bautista. The Rangers immediately optioned Santana to Triple-A Round Rock.
He was designated for assignment on June 12 as one of two corresponding moves in order to place Andy Burns on the active roster.
The right-hander appeared in 16 games for L.A. this season, posting a 6.00 ERA and 1.93 WHIP. Santana also made three starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City after being optioned at the end of last month, pitching to a 10.13 ERA and 2.44 WHIP.
It’s been an underwhelming regular season for the 25-year-old after he impressed during Spring Training. Santana was under consideration for the final bullpen spot on the Opening Day roster, which ultimately went to Scott Alexander.
“Very, very difficult decision,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time. “We thought Dennis had a great spring and really impressed with his progress, command and all that stuff. There’s really no viable reason or answer. It’s just more of a numbers game. We just felt right now, Scott has earned that roster spot.”
Of some of Santana’s struggles this year, Roberts recently said, “I just think with Dennis it’s strike throwing, it’s not about the stuff. There’s a two-seamer, there’s a four-seamer, trying to figure out the slower slider or harder slider, changeup to right and left.
“There’s a lot of value as far as potential roles and stuff, but just the consistent strike throwing is something that we need to continue to see.”
Santana has spent time with the Dodgers over parts of four seasons, going a combined 2-2 with a 6.42 ERA and 36 strikeouts. He was signed by the team as an international free agent in March 2013.
Dodgers add to Minor League pipeline with Bautista
Bautista, 21, had been with the Rangers organization since 2017, posting a combined record of 3-1 with a 3.70 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 32 Minor League games across two rookie ball levels. In 2019, he split his time between the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Summer League, going 1-0 and 2.48 ERA and 46 strikeouts.
The left-hander has velocity that reaches the high 90s but command has been an issue thus far in his young career.
The Rangers signed Bautista as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic on October 6, 2017.
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