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Dodgers sign Will Venable, option Austin Barnes to Triple-A Oklahoma City

Will Venable wowed the Dodgers with his extraordinary mime work.
Will Venable wowed the Dodgers with his extraordinary mime work.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers signed veteran outfielder Will Venable to a major league contract on Tuesday, giving the team a left-handed hitter on the bench, something the club has missed since, and arguably before, Carl Crawford was designated for assignment.

In Venable they also have someone who can play all three outfield spots.

Venable, 33, hit just .204/.302/.307 in 41 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but was released by the Phillies on Friday after opting out of his minor league contract. Venable did the same at the end of spring training after not making the Indians' opening day roster, opting out of his minor league deal with Cleveland.

The left-hander will wear No. 25 with the Dodgers, and is active for Tuesday night's game against the Diamondbacks.

The answer to this March tweet ended up being "both":

Venable hit .244/.320/.350 last year between the Padres and Rangers, and in his eight major league seasons has hit .256/.324/.422 with a .323 wOBA and 107 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.

I haven't confirmed this, but I think Venable actually has two option years remaining, having only used one in 2009 with San Diego. He was also optioned in 2011, but only for a total of 17 days, fewer than the required 20 total days on optional assignment to count as an option used.

To make room on the active roster, catcher and infielder Austin Barnes was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Barnes, who was up for eight games and nine days during this major league stint, was 0-for-4 with a walk last week, including one start at second base.

Barnes on the season is 2-for-19 with three walks and seven strikeouts in the majors, and is hitting .306/.413/.375 with eight doubles and 12 stolen bases in 37 games with Oklahoma City.

With the signing of Venable, the Dodgers' 40-man roster is now full.