Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced they signed infielder Jonathan Araúz to a Minor League contract, which presumably includes an invite to 2024 Spring Training.
Araúz has played in parts of four seasons in Major League Baseball with the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and appearing in 27 games for the New York Mets this past season.
The 25-year-old was originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 2015 season, before joining the Houston Astros farm system.
His upside in 2019 was clear when the Red Sox selected him in the Rule 5 Draft. He advanced through their Minor League ranks, debuting in at the Major League level during the 2020 season for a 25-game stint.
Araúz was again selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Mets in 2022, and would post his best season in professional baseball. In 100 games with the Triple-A Syracuse Mets, he posted a .239/.340/.415 slash with 14 home runs, 53 RBI and 59 runs scored.
He clocked a majority of his playing time at shortstop in 2023 while also logging innings at second and third base in Triple-A. Araúz has displayed a decent amount of sure handedness defensively, with his only issues popping up at shortstop.
With the Mets, Araúz saw the most time at second and third base, committing just one error with the club in 2023. In 59 at-bats, he posted a .491 on-base plus slugging with three home runs and nine RBI.
What can Jonathan Araúz bring to the Dodgers?
In signing Araúz, the Dodgers protect themselves from the off chance they’ll have to dive into their Minor League system to find infield depth in a pinch.
Having veteran defensive wizard Miguel Rojas under contract insures they’ll always have an option who can play Gold Glove caliber innings up the middle. The Dodgers, by all accounts, are going to provide Gavin Lux with a shot to play every day at shortstop, which leaves second base up to Mookie Betts.
Araúz having that position versatility is a plus advantage, but also something the Dodgers have stockpiled in recent years with the emphasis on lineup maneuverability.
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