LOS ANGELES -- Somewhat buried in the fine print in Thursday's finalization of the Dodgers' eight-year, $25 million contract with Japanese right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda was the corresponding transaction to create room for him on the 40-man roster. Taking the fall was infielder Ronald Torreyes, who was designated for assignment.
Torreyes, now 23, played his first eight major league games in 2015, going 2-for-6 with a double and a walk in September with the Dodgers. He hit .261/.308/.347 between Double-A and Triple-A combined on the season, splitting time between the Blue Jays and Dodgers' systems, starting 58 games at shortstop, 39 games at second base and seven games at third base.
He was acquired from Toronto for cash on June 12, and after a poor start to the season in the Blue Jays system hit .295/.347/.406 in the Dodgers' system, with 62 games for Double-A Tulsa and 13 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
It is still possible the Dodgers could retain Torreyes, if he clears waivers, though that will play itself out within the next 10 days.
But what makes this transaction notable, at least somewhat, is that the Dodgers' 40-man roster now is decidedly pitching heavy. There are 24 pitchers currently occupying space on the 40-man roster, and only 16 position players.
Fairly standard in-season roster construction features 13 position players and 12 pitchers on the active roster, so the Dodgers' 40-man roster depth runs only three players deep at the moment.
"At the moment" is the key here, of course, as today's date is January 7. We are still 88 days away from opening day, and pitchers and catchers don't report to Camelback Ranch for until 43 days from now.
For comparison, heading into spring training in 2015 the Dodgers had 18 position players on the 40-man roster and 22 pitchers. Counting non-roster invitees, the split at the start was 31 pitchers and 28 position players, closer to even.
In other words, expect more position players to be added in the coming weeks, either on the 40-man roster or on minor league deals with invitations to big league camp.