A casualty of poor performance and minimal patience, Luis Cruz has elected to become a free agent after refusing an outright assignment to the minor leagues. The 29 year old third baseman had been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers this past week after a disappointing start to the 2013 season. Cruz’ decision was first reported by Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
Cruz had a bit of a journeyman-like career before signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers following the 2011 season. The move would instantly pay off. Cruz batted .318/.348/.529 in 305 PA at Triple-A before getting called up by the Dodgers. He’d take over at third base without much delay and hit .297/.322/.431 in 296 PA over the remainder of the year. With Hanley Ramirez on the roster and the team still holding out hope that Dee Gordon would continue to develop, Los Angeles came into Spring Training prior to this season expecting that they wouldn’t have any concerns about the left side of their infield but those plans quickly fell apart.
Ramirez missed significant time with injury. Gordon still hasn’t emerged as the player the team’s hoped he’d be. Cruz slipped to a .127/.175/.169 line in 128 PA and played his way right off the team’s active roster. He’s already cleared waivers and will be free to sign with any team as a free agent. He doesn’t yet have enough service time to qualify for arbitration, so any team that were to sign him would potentially have him under team control for multiple years to come.