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Dodgers sign David Freitas, Tayler Scott to minor league deals

Welcome back to the unbridled joy of roster minutiae

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Catching up on a few (literally) minor transactions of the last week, the Dodgers added a pair of players on minor league contracts in early January.

David Freitas is a veteran catcher who turns 34 in March, and last played in the majors in 2019. He played 36 games in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season for the Yankees, hitting .239/.310/.345 with two home runs, six doubles, and a 76 wRC+. In 2021, Freitas split time between Triple-A in the Rays system and the Korean Baseball Organization.

Freitas played parts of three seasons in the majors (2017-2019) for the Braves, Mariners, and Brewers, hitting .200/.268/.288 with a 55 wRC+, eight doubles, and a home run in 59 games and 143 plate appearances. He was drafted in 2010 by the Nationals out of the University of Hawaii, which prompted Chad Moriyama at Dodgers Digest to write about this Dodgers signing.

Whether Freitas plays for the Dodgers remains to be seen, but he’ll likely serve as veteran depth in Triple-A Oklahoma City. Hunter Feduccia, the Dodgers’ 12th-round pick in 2018, ended last season in OKC, catching 32 games over the final three months of the season.

The Dodgers also have Carson Taylor, the club’s fourth-round pick in 2020, who caught 58 games for Double-A Tulsa last season. Diego Cartaya, the club’s top prospect, is the club’s third catcher 40-man roster, but has yet to play above High-A. Last season, when the Dodgers needed a catcher other than Will Smith or Austin Barnes, they turned to veteran Tony Wolters for a weekend in August in Kansas City, before designating him for assignment.

Should Freitas find his way to the majors in 2023, he is out of options, having used them each year from 2018-20.

The Dodgers also signed right-hander Tayler Scott, who pitched eight games in relief for the Padres in July and August last year.

Scott, who turns 31 in June, was the first South African-born pitcher to pitch in the majors when he made his debut with the Mariners in 2019. In parts of two major league seasons (2019, 2022) with the Mariners, Orioles, and Padres, Scott has allowed 38 runs (35 earned runs) on 50 hits and 17 walks in 28⅓ innings, with 27 strikeouts, producing the eye-popping duo of an 11.12 ERA and 2.365 WHIP.

Luckily major league pitchers don’t have to bat anymore, except in rare instances. Scott in 2021 shared his painful experience when trying to bunt.

After pitching in Japan in 2020-21, Scott returned stateside last season, pitching mostly in Triple-A, first with in El Paso in the Padres’ system then with Lehigh Valley over the last two weeks of the season after getting claimed off waivers by the Phillies in September. In the minors in 2022, Scott had a 4.53 ERA in 43⅔ innings, with 56 strikeouts (a 29.2-percent strikeout rate) and 15 walks (7.8-percent walk rate) in 37 relief appearances.

Philadelphia sent Scott outright to the minors in December, but he elected free agency. Should Scott reach the majors this season, he does have one option remaining, having used options in 2019 and 2022.