The deal, which is reportedly for one year with a club option for a second, is pending a physical, though Alberto had already reposted several mentions of the signing on his Instagram story by Sunday morning.
The 29-year-old has played in parts of six major-league seasons, including 103 games with the Kansas City Royals last year. He is a career .276 hitter who also has 17 home runs and 106 RBIs. Defensively, he has played mostly at second base, third base and shortstop.
He fits a need for the Dodgers, who saw their normally deep lineup get cut into by injuries last season. On Friday, manager Dave Roberts pointed to bench depth specifically when asked where the team could still add to the roster coming into spring camp.
“I think some depth on the position player side is a good starting point,” Roberts said.
Alberto began his big-league career with the Texas Rangers in 2015, playing for them sporadically over the course of the next four years. In 2019, he was selected off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles and played on a near-everyday basis at second and third base, batting .305 with 12 homers, 51 RBIs, a .751 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and solid advanced metrics defensively.
Alberto was productive again for the Orioles in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, batting .283 while appearing in all but six games, yet wasn’t tendered a contract by the team. After signing with the Royals last year and hitting .270, the arbitration-eligible Alberto was outrighted and became a free agent again.
A right-handed hitter, Alberto has been significantly better against left-handed pitching in his career, batting .333 with an .815 OPS against southpaws compared with a .240 average and .596 OPS against righties. While he doesn’t hit for much power, he is one of the game’s better players at making contact at the plate.
It has all contributed to three straight seasons of above-replacement production for Alberto, according to Fangraphs’ version of wins above replacement. And for a Dodgers team that ran short on options last year, especially in the postseason, he’ll add some welcome versatility and experience off the bench.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.