Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dodgers bring back Trayvon Robinson on minor-league deal

The Dodgers signed a familiar name to a minor league contract as Trayvon Robinson will reportedly return to the organization that drafted him and then traded him away.

Nothing is official, but Matt Eddy of Baseball America reported Friday Robinson is back in the fold as he attempts to work his way onto a major league roster once again after flaming out in Seattle. Robinson, who won't turn 27 until September, was a 10th-round selection in 2005 and sparked interest amongst Dodger faithful when he hit .293/.375/.563/.938 with a .400 wOBA and 26 homers in 100 games for Triple-A Albuquerque in 2011. Before he could finish the season, he was sent to the Mariners in a three-team deal.

I wasn't a fan of the deal at the time, as the Dodgers seemingly got little in return for a talented guy like Robinson who was just breaking out. Even if he amounted to nothing down the road, it seemed Ned Colletti had sold quite low. Stephen Fife and Tim Federowicz were the main pieces coming back, and while neither has become a key piece to the big league team Fife has been nice rotation depth and Federowicz is a cheap backup catcher with an excellent defensive reputation.

Robinson made a couple of highlight-reel catches but quickly faded into obscurity after failing to hit big league pitching. In more than 300 plate appearances between 2011-2012 Trayvon posted a sub-.300 OBP. He tried to catch on with the Orioles last season, but didn't show much in Double-A and Triple-A.

There's no risk in bringing Robinson in on a minor league deal and what will likely be a Spring Training invitation -- the Dodgers give those out like candy -- as continued poor performance would be met with his release or a permanent spot back in Albuquerque as depth.

In a perfect world, Robinson would hit like Peter Bourjos and play defense like a poor man's Bourjos, thus allowing him to be a fourth- or fifth outfielder in The Show; back up Matt Kemp as a true center fielder; and perhaps even allow for one of Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier to more easily be moved without worrying about depth.

In all likelihood, this is going to turn out to be nothing more than a feel-good story of a former Dodger prospect and Los Angeles native returning home for a second chance.

Photo Credit: Roger C. Hoover (rogerchoover), Flickr

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