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Dodgers finalize Hanser Alberto contract, designate Matt Beaty for assignment

LA opts for defensive versatility on the bench

Los Angeles Dodgers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Dodgers made official their contract for infielder Hanser Alberto on Wednesday, signing him to a one-year contract plus a club option for 2023. To make room on the 40-man roster, Matt Beaty was designated for assignment.

Alberto’s contract is worth $1.85 million guaranteed, with a $1.6 million salary in 2022 and a $2 million club option for 2023. If that option isn’t exercised by the team, Alberto will receive a $250,000 buyout.

Alberto’s signing was first reported on March 13, but he was stuck back home in the Dominican Republic while sorting out visa issues, Alberto confirmed on Sunday morning.

On Tuesday, Alberto was at Camelback Ranch.

Manager Dave Roberts told reporters in Arizona on Wednesday that Alberto could be in the Dodgers lineup as early as Thursday.

Last year Alberto cleared waivers in October and was sent outright to Triple-A Omaha by the Royals, but instead elected free agency. Alberto turned 29 in October.

Over the last three seasons with the Orioles and Royals, Alberto hit .292/.315/.411, a 91 wRC+, with a 10.2-percent strikeout rate that’s the third-lowest in MLB during that span.

He also brings defensive versatility around the infield, mostly splitting time between second base and third base, with some shortstop mixed in as well.

Hanser Alberto defense

Position Starts Innings Def. Runs Saved Total Zone Rating Outs Above Average UZR
Position Starts Innings Def. Runs Saved Total Zone Rating Outs Above Average UZR
Second base 127 1,159⅔ +3 +2 -4 +3
Third base 92 803⅔ +6 +4 +3 -1
Shortstop 11 101⅓ +3 +1 0 +1
from 2019-21 Sources: Baseball Reference, FanGraphs, Baseball Savant

Alberto is one of seven players on whom the Dodgers hold a club option for 2023.

In parts of six major league seasons, Alberto has hit .276/.298/.383, an 81 OPS+ with 61 doubles and 17 home runs in 385 games with the Rangers, Orioles, and Royals.

Beaty is a career .262/.333/.425 hitter, a 101 OPS+ in three seasons, including .270/.363/.402, a 107 OPS+ with seven home runs in 120 games last season. But he’s also arguably the least versatile defensively on a bench that includes fellow left-handed batters Gavin Lux, Edwin Ríos, and Zach McKinstry.

Beaty had an option year remaining, having used options in 2019 and 2021, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters Wednesday at Camelback Ranch, “If you look at the construction of our roster, the runway he potentially would get, it just wasn’t going to happen for him here with us,” per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.

It’s unlikely Beaty would clear waivers, and perhaps could draw trade interest in the next week. His next destination will be determined soon, but for now he’s off the Dodgers 40-man roster.