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Dodgers sign Chris Owings to minor league contract, per report

Veteran, long-time NL West foe, is non-roster invitee in LA camp

Colorado Rockies v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Dodgers added veteran utility player Chris Owings on a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training. Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic reported the deal Thursday, and noted that Owings is already at Camelback Ranch on the day that pitchers and catchers report to camp.

Dodgers fans are used to seeing Owings, who played for the Diamondbacks from 2013-18 and for the Rockies in 2020-21. The two pitchers the right-handed-batting Owings has faced most in his career are National League West stalwarts Madison Bumgarner and new Dodgers teammate Clayton Kershaw, at 37 plate appearances each. Owings against Kershaw is a .300/.324/.500 hitter with three doubles and two triples, though they’ve only faced one another in three at-bats after 2018.

Last season Owings’ time in the majors was brief, playing 10 games for the Pirates in May, almost entirely at shortstop. He had four singles in 25 at-bats (.160) with 12 strikeouts.

In Triple-A Indianapolis in 2023, Owings hit .241/.349/.449 with 15 home runs and a 99 wRC+ in 86 games.

Primarily a shortstop and second baseman for most of his career, Owings has mixed in time in center field and right field plus a smattering of time at third base and in left field. Over the last three seasons in the majors, with the Rockies, Orioles, and Pirates, Owings has started 14 games at shortstop, 13 games at second, three games in left field, three games in right field, and one start each at third base and center field.

Since the start of 2019, Owings has played more in Triple-A (194 games, 781 plate appearances) than in the majors (140 games, 383 plate appearances), so the 32-year-old will likely provide depth in Oklahoma City this season, whether he plays in the majors with the Dodgers or not.

Owings joins left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland as Dodgers non-roster invitees who have played in the majors in each of the last 11 seasons.

In his 11 major league seasons, with the D-backs, Royals, Red Sox, Rockies, Orioles, and Pirates, Owings is a .239/.286/.364 hitter with a 68 wRC+, 124 doubles, 37 home runs, and 27 triples in 720 games.