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Chris Heisey elects free agency over outright assignment to minors

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- For a second straight day, the Dodgers lost an arbitration-eligible veteran reserve outfielder to free agency. On Friday, it was Chris Heisey who cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City, then refused the minor league assignment to elect free agency, as was his right.

Justin Ruggiano cleared outright waivers on Thursday and also elected free agency.

With five years, 42 days of major league service time, Heisey has more than the requisite three years needed to refuse any outright minor league assignment.

Heisey, who turns 31 in December, was 10-for-55 with 15 walks in 33 games for the Dodgers in 2015, hitting .182/.347/.327 with two doubles and two home runs. He started seven games in center field, seven more in right field, and three games in left field for the Dodgers.

He was essentially high-priced depth for the Dodgers, making $2.16 million while shuttling back and forth between the majors and minors. Heisey was called and optioned up four different times in the first three months of the season, then was designated for assignment on July 30 and released one week later.

After spending three weeks with Triple-A Buffalo in the Blue Jays system, the Dodgers reacquired Heisey on Aug. 31 for cash, and he hit .207/.342/.448 in 16 games in the season's final month, with both home runs and all nine RBI in September and October.

Heisey manned mostly center field while in Triple-A Oklahoma City, hitting .241/.370/.495 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI in 66 games.

MLB Trade Rumors projected Heisey to make $2.2 million through salary arbitration this winter, and Ruggiano $2.8 million. Instead, both are now free agents.