The Los Angeles Dodgers have reshaped their roster in the last two weeks, adding five new players via trade. Monday, they cut their second veteran outfielder in five days as Tony Gwynn Jr. was designated for assignment.
Gwynn, like Bobby Abreu before him, fell victim to a lack of playing time with the acquisition of Shane Victorino. Gwynn was used often as a defensive replacement late in games and led the Dodgers with 103 games played this season. But with Victorino, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier playing nearly every inning of every game, there simply wasn't enough playing time for Gwynn to keep him on the roster.
"Tony's been a special guy. He was a guy who worked and did everything we asked. He was a big part of the attitude and the way guys have worked this year and last," said manager Don Mattingly. "It wasn't a good day."
The move to cut Gwynn was the latest in a series of baseball moves made by the new ownership group, relatively unconcerned with financial constraints. Gwynn has a two-year contract that will also pay him $1.15 million in 2013.
The Dodgers have added roughly $14 million in 2012 salary alone in their five trade acquisitions: Hanley Ramirez ($5.8 million), Shane Victorino ($3.4 million), Joe Blanton ($2.9 million), Brandon League ($1.7 million) and Randy Choate ($600,000).
Jerry Sands, making $483,500 this season but with nine home runs in his last 17 games in Triple-A, got the call to replace Gwynn on the roster. Sands went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Monday night.
"Right now it's the best 25 available," Mattingly said. "We're not trying to develop. We're going to play our best lineup."