Among the various roster moves in the first few days after the World Series — which the Dodgers won, by the way; people forget this — mostly involved players reaching free agency, and others getting their options exercised or (most likely) declined.
There were several other players placed on waivers, with the hope of possibly keeping them around as roster depth in Triple-A, but off the 40-man roster. Terrance Gore was one of those players, sent outright to Oklahoma City over the weekend after clearing waivers.
Gore is now one of 422 minor league free agents, per Chris Hilburn-Trenkle at Baseball America.
Gore made the Opening Day roster for the Dodgers in 2020 but only played in two games, including one inning as a late-game defensive replacement in center field. He was used in his customary role of pinch runner once, but his July 29 appearance saw him take over at third base, unable to take advantage of the stolen base, his primary weapon.
As someone who’s been outrighted before, Gore had the right to refuse the minor league assignment and elect free agency instead. He opted to stay back in July, and was effusive in his praise of the organization, putting a potential return at least on the radar.
“I’m going to be honest, I was really close to actually going somewhere else. But I don’t know, something told me to just stick it out, grind it out, work on my craft at the alternate site,” Gore said during the wild card series. “I told my agent, ‘I really, really like the Dodgers.’”
“I don’t know what it is about the Dodgers. The way you guys go about your business, the way you teach players to play the game of baseball and all the mechanics. You’ve got so much stuff I’ve never even seen in my life. I’m really blown away the stuff and the technology.”
Dave Roberts said he encouraged Gore to “stay the course” in July when he was sent to the alternate training site at USC, in case the Dodgers might need him later.
The allure of Gore as a late-inning threat was enough to earn him a spot on the Dodgers’ roster for both the wild card round and NL Division Series. Roberts, who had one of the most famous stolen bases in major league history, as a pinch runner in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS for the Red Sox, saw Gore as a potential late-inning game-changer, as he once was.
But Gore did not play in any of those five postseason games.
Gore, now 29 years old, has 45 stolen bases in 55 attempts in his 111 major league games, including the postseason.
“The last time I ran a 40 was probably around when I was drafted, maybe 2011,” Gore said in September. “If I had to run a 40 right now, honestly, I probably could run a 4.3, 4.2-ish. If I run a 4.4, I’m just going to retire.”
Roberts smiled when he heard Gore’s 40 time, and said at his fastest as a player he ran at 4.45 seconds.
“He was considerably faster than me,” Roberts said. “I’d still take me stealing a base over him, but he’s not a bad second choice.”
With Gore now a free agent and pitcher Jimmy Nelson having his 2021 option declined, the Dodgers’ 40-man roster has 32 players, including pitcher David Price, who was on the restricted list after opting out of the 2020 season.