For many fans of the Dodgers, the biggest haul of the recent six-player deal with the White Sox and Royals right off the top appears to be lefty sinkerballer Scott Alexander. But while Alexander is indeed a much welcomed addition and will no question have a huge impact on the Los Angeles bullpen, utility man Jake Peter could turn out to be the most profitable piece of the entire trade.
All winter long, we’ve been repeatedly discussing the Dodgers’ need for a left-handed hitting middle infielder. The Dodgers filled that requirement with Peter, and if things go well enough in spring camp and during Cactus League play, the 24-year-old Iowa native could be on the fast track to a 25-man roster spot at the beginning of the regular season.
The most baffling part of the entire trade, though, is the fact that the White Sox didn’t move Peter to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft last month, leaving him free for the taking for any MLB club. Even though the Dodgers’ 40-man was full at the time, Andrew Friedman and his troops could have, in theory, somehow made room on the roster, and claimed Peter for a cost of $50,000. However, in that case, Peter would have needed to remain on the Dodgers’ 25-man roster all year, based on the stipulations of being selected in the draft. Regardless, Peter is now a Dodger, and the Los Angeles management team seemingly killed two birds with one stone by also making a huge upgrade to the bullpen in one fell swoop.
Most of the scouting reports available on Peter have him being MLB-ready, both offensively and defensively. He has a plus-arm—fine enough to even handle third base or any of the corner outfield spots, despite his main strengths with the glove coming at the middle infield spots. One profile went as far as labeling him as a “strong defender” at second base, making him a conceivable platoon candidate with Logan Forsythe at the keystone straightaway.
Offensively, Peter owns a career .282/.347/.394 slash line over four full minor league seasons. He posted double digits in long balls last season across two levels of the Sox’ farm, suggesting he has a bit of pop. And he stole 11 bags last year after swiping 31 bases combined in 2015 and 2016, potentially giving the Dodgers some much-needed speed and quickness on the basepaths.
Being the roster-predicting junkies that we are, we have Peter moving into the lead of the bubble/fringe players, with Rob Segedin, Tim Locastro and Max Muncy all promising to battle for the final few position player spots on the 25-man as it stands now.
Please be sure to check back frequently during the coming weeks, as we’ll certainly do our best to discuss any new developments and insight ahead of pitchers and catchers reporting to Camelback Ranch on February 13.
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