The Dodgers added five prospects to their 40-man roster before Friday’s deadline to set things for the Rule 5 Draft, but only had three available spots. To make room for the new folks, outfielders Billy McKinney and Zach Reks were designated for assignment.
McKinney played for three teams in 2021, hitting .182/.280/.358 with nine home runs and a 73 wRC+ in 300 plate appearances, split almost evenly between the Brewers, Mets, and Dodgers. After getting acquired from New York for minor league outfielder Carlos Rincon on July 21, McKinney hit just .146/.276/.232 for the Dodgers but also started 20 games in right field, filling in when Mookie Betts was dealing with an injured hip.
McKinney also started once at first base during the regular season. He played four postseason games, totaling eight innings at first base in four games in reserve, but only batted once in October, striking out as a pinch-hitter in Game 4 of the NLDS. McKinney is out of options.
The other left-handed-hitting outfielder jettisoned on Friday is Reks, who made his major league debut for the Dodgers in 2021, going 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts in six games, including two starts in left field. The Dodgers drafted Reks in the 10th round in 2017 out of Kentucky.
Up next for McKinney and Reks is up to a week in limbo, during which they could be traded or perhaps claimed on waivers. Though movement might be difficult with every MLB team setting their 40-man rosters for the Rule 5 Draft on Friday, leaving limited room. There are also many such players available, with at least seven others designated for assignment Friday across the league.
If either designated Dodgers were to clear waivers, neither McKinney nor Reks have been previously sent outright, and wouldn’t be able to refuse an outright minor league assignment.