Dodgers sign Will Venable, option Austin Barnes
By Jon Weisman
Having gone without a left-handed bat off the bench since Carl Crawford was designated for assignment June 5, the Dodgers have signed outfielder Will Venable.
Austin Barnes, who was 0 for 4 with a walk since being called up to replace Crawford on the 25-man roster, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Venable, who will wear No. 25 (which coach Mark McGwire had most recently used).
Venable has a .317 on-base percentage and .406 slugging percentage in 3,127 career plate appearances, most recently with Texas and San Diego in 2015, for whom he had a combined OPS+ of 88. Against right-handed pitching last year, his OPS was .710.
The 33-year-old’s best MLB season was in 2013, when he had 22 homers and 22 steals for the Padres.
Venable opted out of a minor-league contract with the Phillies on June 11. He had a .304 on-base percentage with Triple-A Lehigh.