Dodgers Add Five Players in Minor League Deal Flurry

Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP

Early Friday evening, the Dodgers announced the completion of five minor league deals, bringing Carlos Asuaje, Brandon Morrow, Jimmy Nelson, James Pazos, and Brock Stewart to the Dodgers’ big league camp this season with non-roster invitations.

Carlos Asuaje

Most recently, Carlos Asuaje played in Reno with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ AAA affiliate during the 2019 season, posting a .741 OPS in 59 games. However, Asuaje began his 2019 campaign in South Korea with the Lotte Giants of the KBO. During his 49 games in the KBO, Asuaje hit a pair of home runs and stole four bases. According to Baseball Savant’s 2018 league percentile rankings, Asuaje ranked in the 60th percentile of sprint speed among MLB players. The Dodgers may look for Asuaje to provide defensive depth on the MLB roster as he is capable of playing any position in the infield or outfield.

Brandon Morrow

During the 2017 season, Brandon Morrow played a critical role in the Dodgers’ run that fell one game short of a World Series title. In 45 regular season appearances, Morrow carried an ERA of 2.06, allowing batters to barrel up his pitches on a career-low 2.7% of batted balls. After missing the past two seasons while rehabbing from debridement surgery on his right elbow, the Dodgers have taken a flyer on Morrow, hoping he can return to a level similar to where he was when he last pitched for Los Angeles.

Jimmy Nelson

Following his breakout 2017 season in which Jimmy Nelson recorded 4.8 points of fWAR, the Dodgers signed Nelson to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million last January. However, Nelson never appeared in the game for Los Angeles, having undergone surgery on his lower back in July. The Dodgers declined Nelson’s 2021 team option on October 31st but clearly still believe Nelson could be a nice pitching asset when he’s healthy.

James Pazos

The bulk of James Pazos’ Major League experience came during the 2017 and 2018 seasons when Pazos recorded 103.2 IP as a relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Pazos posted some solid numbers throughout those two seasons, including a 10.9 K/9 in 2017. Since being traded out of Seattle as part of the deal that sent Jean Segura to Philadelphia, Pazos has been designated for assignment by both the Phillies and the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers will look to find value in Pazos after a few journeyman seasons for the 29-year-old.

Brock Stewart

Much like Brandon Morrow, this minor league deal marks a return to the Dodgers for Brock Stewart. Since being claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays, Brock Stewart floated between Toronto and the team’s AAA affiliate in Buffalo before being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. However, in May, the Cubs released Stewart. The Dodgers will likely try to develop Stewart into a solid depth pitcher in 2021.

Arrick Joel has covered the Dodgers since 2017. Follow him on Twitter at @ArrickJoel and follow @DodgersLowDown for more.