Victor Garate, seen here in spring training at Camelback Ranch in 2009. - Getty Images
The Dodgers added players who ended 2012 in an independent league, getting bombed in the Korean Series, and retired, respectively.
The Dodgers added a few more players on minor league contracts in the last week, including an old friend who was traded away in 2009. Left-handed pitcher Victor Garate rejoins the Dodgers, along with right-handed pitcher Mario Santiago and outfielder Ryan Mount, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
Garate was traded along with pitcher Luis Garcia to the Nationals in late 2009 for Ronnie Belliard, who hit .351/.398/.636 with five home runs in 24 games down the stretch for the division-winning Dodgers.
Garate, 28, pitched four games in relief for Washington in 2009, and allowed five runs in two innings in his only taste of big league action to date. He stuck out 40 in 39⅓ innings for Triple-A Nashville in the Brewers' system in 2012, to go along with 22 walks (four intentional) and a whopping 7.78 ERA in 29 games. Garate was released by the Brewers on July 12, then caught on with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. Though he only pitched in one game for York, and allowed two runs on four hits in 1⅔ innings. Garate left the team for personal reasons and was released by York on July 26.
Santiago, 28, pitched in the Korean Baseball Organization in 2012, though not on the same team as Hyun-jin Ryu. Santiago was 6-3 with a 3.40 ERA, 49 strikeouts, and 39 walks in 95⅓ innings over 18 starts for SK Wyverns, who lost in the Korean Series to the Samsung Lions. Santiago lost Game 2 and Game 6 in the series.
Santiago's highest professional domestic level was Triple-A, which he reached in 2011 with the Royals. He was 3-3 with a 5.70 ERA in 19 games, including four starts, with Omaha in 2011, with 33 strikeouts and 28 walks in 47⅓ innings.
Mount, 26, was drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft by the Angels, but the outfielder has been stuck the last four seasons in Double-A. Mount hit .236/.284/.354 in 71 games for Double-A Arkansas in 2012, his first year primarily in the outfield after playing mostly second base and third base in previous seasons. After dealing with shoulder issues at various parts of the last four seasons, including three weeks missed in May 2012, Mount actually retired in August, but apparently has changed his mind.
It is unknown yet whether or not any of these three players will get invitations to major league camp in spring training, though it does seem unlikely. But at the very least, especially in the case of Garate and Santiago, it gives the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes some depth and options to choose from in filling out their roster.