Monday, December 17, 2007

Dodgers sign catcher Gary Bennett

While it doesn't exactly make waves like signing Andruw Jones or Hiroki Kuroda, the Dodgers signed veteran backup catcher Gary Bennett to a 1 year contract. He now replaces Mike Lieberthal as the man who gets to sit around all year and watch Russell Martin play 99% of the time.

Bennett has been active in the majors since 1995 (granted he only had 1 at-bat that year, but still). His best year was in 2001 with the New York Mets where he hit 1.000. Seriously. He was 1-1 with a single.

Last year was his 2nd with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he appeared in 59 games and garnered 155 at-bats. He hit .252 with 2 homers and 17 RBI's. Looking at those stats, he could have hit cleanup for the Dodgers last year. Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh...

The one big positive about him is his defensive ability. In 52 games behind the plate, 41 of them starts, he only committed 1 error for a .996 fielding %. In fact, he's at .991 for his career, so you get the feeling that if he could hit the ball to save his life, he could have been a much bigger threat in his career. Maybe he should have tried drugs or something along the way.

Oh wait, he did! He was just recently named in the Mitchell Report for using HGH in 2003. I'll give him this though, he took full credit for his actions and admitted guilt, unlike a certain lefty starter for the Yankees. He told The Washington Post, "Obviously, it was a stupid decision. It was a mistake. It was something that quite obviously, you regret now."

So, the backup catcher position is now set. That leaves 3rd base as a question mark, along with at least a couple of spots in the bullpen to focus on now.

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