The Dodgers have reportedly brought back an old friend, signing outfielder Trayvon Robinson to a minor league deal, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
The Dodgers haven't yet announced the deal and while it's unknown whether or not Robinson will get a non-roster invitation to big league camp, it's a safe bet he will. Currently, Joc Pederson is the only outfielder among the 16 non-roster invitees, though there are seven outfielders on the 40-man roster.
Robinson, 26, hit .247/.329/.394 with 11 home runs and 20 doubles in 107 minor league games in the Orioles system in 2013, though things got so bad that he was demoted to Double-A Bowie in July. Robinson hit .215/.272/.330 with five home runs and 16 doubles in 90 games across his two major league seasons in the Mariners in 2011-2012, with 104 strikeouts and 22 walks in 319 plate appearances.
The Dodgers drafted the switch-hitting outfielder in the 10th round in 2005, and moved him at the trade deadline in 2011. Robinson went to Seattle in a three-team deal that brought Stephen Fife, Tim Federowicz and minor league pitcher Juan Rodriguez to the Dodgers from the Red Sox.
The trade essentially happened because the Dodgers lacked catching depth in the organization, something that still plagues them today. It's why they moved more than a warm body in Miguel Sulbaran for Drew Butera last July. I wasn't a fan of the deal at the time, though mostly because I overvalued Robinson.
There is a decent enough chance Trayvon Robinson may never be a major league regular. But at the very least, Robinson could have been a cheap fourth outfielder for three to six years, which seems like more of an upside than the Dodgers received in return. To me this trade is an overreaction to fill a need, a need Colletti himself was largely responsible in creating. I'm not even confident that need was anywhere close to being filled. Which leaves me empty.
I am usually not a fan of the mentality of needing to identify winners and losers in a transaction — sometimes deals just fill needs and benefit both teams — but in hindsight it would be difficult to call the Robinson trade in 2011 anything but a victory for the Dodgers.
But now he's back, and assuming he doesn't follow the lead of fellow switch-hitting traded former Dodgers draft pick Josh Bell and find a new deal overseas, we'll see Robinson at Camelback Ranch when position players report on February 13.