The fortunes turned Monday for a pair of non-roster invitees in Dodgers camp: John Grabow opted out of his minor-league contract, and Jamey Wright was on the verge of signing a major-league contract, pending an official announcement from the team.
Grabow, 33, was among a small group of left-handers competing for one open bullpen spot, but has essentially lost the job to Wright despite not giving up a run this spring.
A native of Arcadia and a graduate of San Gabriel High School, Grabow walked one, struck out seven and allowed just four hits. He was eligible to opt out of his contract as a non-roster invitee as early as Sunday, and the move did not seem to catch manager Don Mattingly by surprise.
“He had an option. He exercised it. We kind of talked about it. Ned’s been talking with his agent,” Mattingly said. “Basically, he could do it at any time. He was basically giving us extra time to keep looking at him. He decided at this time to opt out. He’s been good in camp. Lefties, I always count on seeing them again. I figure we’ll see him somewhere down the line.”
Grabow last pitched one-third of an inning Saturday against the Cleveland Indians.
As for Wright, this is the seventh year in which he’s entered camp as a non-roster invitee. The 37-year-old right-hander had a career-best 3.16 ERA last season with Seattle and posted a 2.16 ERA this spring.
Another key stat: Lefties batted just .226 against him last season and right-handers batted .266, making Wright a valuable commodity on a team with only one left-handed reliever (Scott Elbert) on the 40-man roster.
Wright has pitched in 43 different major league parks in his career, but has not pitched for a National League team since 2006 (San Francisco). More from him in tomorrow’s editions.
The Dodgers now have 40 men on the camp roster.