Los Angeles Dodgers Free Agent Edwin Ríos Signs With Chicago Cubs

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Los Angeles Dodgers free agent Edwin Ríos signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, reuniting him with Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger and Ríos were both non-tendered by the Dodgers at the deadline in November. Such a decision had grown increasingly likely with Bellinger rather than proceed with a final year of salary arbitration, but the Dodgers making Ríos a free agent came as a mild surprise.

Ríos was poised to go through the arbitration process for the first time in his career. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman explained the team’s decision stemmed from having an abundance of left-handed hitters on their 40-man roster.

Ríos hit .244/.293/.500 with seven home runs, 17 RBI and a 120 wRC+ last season, but never returned to the Dodgers roster after a significant hamstring strain in June. He was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City after completing a rehab assignment and remained with the affiliate to finish the year.

During that time with OKC, he batted .259/.339/.492 with 17 doubles, nine home runs and 39 RBI, and struggled defensively at third base.

Over parts of four seasons with the Dodgers, the 28-year-old hit .219/.299/.492 with nine doubles, 20 home runs and 43 RBI in 112 games. Ríos’ power swing has lived up to its billing as he’s averaged one home run every 13 at-bats.

The Dodgers selected Ríos in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Among other accolades, he was named the Dodgers’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2016.

Edwin Ríos completed redemption on Dodgers Opening Day roster

After undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in 2021, Ríos went into last year with added motivation to re-establish himself at the Major League level.

An impressive showing in Spring Training led to earning a spot on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the first time in his career.

“It’s kind of a surreal moment,” Rios said of the accomplishment. “And you know you always have these expectations. You have had these plans and you plan for things to happen a certain way and sometimes that doesn’t happen.

“But to be able to do what I did this offseason with the medical staff, the people back home and being on that opening roster was was a big thing for me and my family and we loved every bit of it.”

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