Acquiring another right-handed bat will likely be a need for the Dodgers before next month’s trade deadline.
On Thursday, however, they took a chance on a veteran free agent to fill the hole first.
The team has agreed to a major league deal with outfielder Jake Marisnick, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation and not authorized to speak publicly.
He’s not a big-name signing, adding a 32-year-old journeyman with a career .228 batting average and below-league average percentage of .672 on base plus slugging percentage in 42 games this season.
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Still, Marisnick will bring 11 seasons of MLB experience and a strong defensive record in center field with him to the Dodgers, whose only two current right-handed outfielders are Mookie Betts (who has shared time in the infield this season) and Jonny DeLuca (a rookie with seven hits in 33 at bats).
Marisnick has two notable ties to the Dodgers.
A product of Riverside Poly, he was a teammate with wide receiver Austin Barnes in high school over a decade ago.
In 2017, Marisnick was a member of the infamous Houston Astros team that was later revealed to be illegally stealing signs – despite not being on the active roster for their World Series win over the Dodgers in the playoffs.
Since being traded by Houston in 2019, Marisnick has bounced back around the league. He played for the New York Mets in 2020, then made part-time stops with the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres in 2021, and the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox the past two seasons. He was designated for assignment by the Detroit Tigers last week.
He’s never been a good hitter (his best offensive year was in 2017, when he hit 16 homers and had .815 OPS) but could provide significant defensive value for the Dodgers, who rank third in the majors in defensive runs saved. in center field, where rookie James Outman got most of the playing time.
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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.