The Dodgers have contacted the representatives for free agent outfielder Jose Bautista, according to the Toronto Star. Bautista, a 36-year-old right fielder, had a .234 batting average, 22 home runs, 69 RBIs and an .817 OPS for the Blue Jays in 2016.
Louis Coleman was not tendered a contract offer by Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline, making him a free agent. The right-handed reliever was the club’s only non-tender candidate to hit the open market Friday.
That means that catcher Yasmani Grandal, outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf, and pitchers Alex Wood, Vidal Nuno, Josh Fields and Luis Avilan remain without contracts in their arbitration-eligible years. The deadline for these players to exchange salary figures with the team is still more than a month away.
The Dodgers have 39 players on their 40-man roster, leaving them eligible to participate in the Rule 5 draft at next week’s Winter Meetings.
Coleman, who made the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee out of spring training, had a 4.69 ERA in 61 appearances out of the bullpen in 2016. He was left off the Dodgers’ playoff roster.
Kendrick, 33, batted a career-low .255 in 146 games for the Dodgers, who also played him at second base, first base and third base at times. But he saw fewer plate appearances per game in 2016 compared to any of his 11 major league seasons. Kendrick was reportedly so upset about his diminished playing time that he requested a trade.
Ruf, 30, has done most of his damage against left-handed pitchers, posting a .299/.379/.542 career slashline over parts of five major league seasons. He’s appeared in 139 games (92 starts) at first base, one game at third base, 76 games (64 starts) at left field and 29 games (27 starts) at right field.
Sweeney, 25, advanced to the Triple-A level in the Dodgers’ organization before he was traded to Philadelphia for Chase Utley in 2015. He spent all of this year with the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, batting .233.
Since Sweeney wasn’t on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, the Dodgers still carry 37 men on theirs. The Dodgers also gained some financial wiggle room: Philadelphia will pick up the final year of Kendrick’s two-year contract, which pays him $10 million next season.
Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner are free agents as of today, along with seven other Dodgers whose contracts expired the day after the World Series: Rich Hill, Joe Blanton, Chase Utley, Josh Reddick, J.P. Howell, Brett Anderson and Jesse Chavez.
A total of 139 players became free agents around MLB. That does not include Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz; the club has until Monday to exercise his 2017 contract option.
Colleague Bill Plunkett has the details.