General manager Ned Colletti confirmed on Monday that Gwynn was eligible to be picked in the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 6, though the outfielder was not taken. Any team that would have drafted Gwynn would have been responsible for his $1.15 million salary in 2013.
Gwynn signed a two-year, $2 million contract last season, and hit .232/.276/.293 in 103 games. He was designated for assignment on Aug. 6, after his opportunities for playing time dwindled with the acquisition of Shane Victorino from the Phillies a week earlier.
Gwynn accepted an assignment to Triple-A Albuquerque, but was passed over for a September call-up. Bobby Abreu, who also accepted a minor league assignment, got the call back to the Dodgers and made 22 appearances, all as a pinch hitter.
"I was ticked off. I don't know a person that wouldn't be," Gwynn told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com in October. "I struggled toward the end before they designated me. Prior to that, I was playing well. When you have deep pockets, you try to do something to improve the roster. That's what they tried to do."
Gwynn, 30, hit .338/.416/.426 in 19 games in Triple-A. The Dodgers so far have invited 11 non-roster players to major league camp in spring training. Pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch on Feb. 12, while position players report three days later. The Dodgers' first full squad workout will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16.