The Rangers announced Monday that they’ve designated outfielder David Dahl for assignment. Texas has also selected the contract of right-hander Jimmy Herget, optioned righty Demarcus Evans to Triple-A Round Rock, and added outfielder DJ Peters to the active roster. The Rangers announced earlier in the afternoon that they’d claimed him from the Dodgers.
Dahl, 27, is a former first-round pick and top prospect who looked like a building block for the Rockies early in his career. He debuted at just 21 years of age back in 2016 and immediately impressed with a .315/.359/.500 slash in 237 plate appearances, turning in seven homers, 12 doubles, four triples and five steals in that time as well.
Injuries have played a massive role in derailing that promising outlook, however. Most notably, Dahl suffered a lacerated spleen in an outfield collision before he ever reached the Majors — a frightening injury that ultimately led to an emergency splenectomy. He’s since had a stress reaction in his ribcage, a fractured foot, a high ankle sprain, a lower back injury and a right shoulder strain.
Dahl spent the 2017 season on the injured list but returned to enjoy productive 2018-19 campaigns. The 2020 season was a disaster, however, as he posted a .183/.222/.247 batting line in 99 plate appearances with the Rox and, somewhat surprisingly, was non-tendered in December. The Rangers swooped in to add Dahl on a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $2.7MM, but he’s looked nowhere near the 2016-19 version of himself; in 220 plate appearances this season, Dahl has batted only .210/.247/.322.
As impressive as Dahl was from 2016-19, slashing a combined .297/.346/.521 in more than 900 plate appearances, he’s only mustered a .201/.239/.299 output over his past 319 plate appearances. Given that downturn and the fact that he’s still owed $900K of that $2.7MM salary between now and season’s end, there’s a good chance Dahl simply goes unclaimed on outright waivers. While Dahl has the three years of service needed to reject an outright assignment, he has fewer than the five years necessary to retain his remaining salary in the event that he rejects that outright.
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