On the same day he was reintroduced to fans at the Dodgers' FanFest event at Chavez Ravine on Saturday, infielder Miguel Rojas also ensured his return to Los Angeles could last at least a couple of seasons.
The Dodgers agreed to a two-year contract extension with Rojas that will cover this season and the 2024 campaign, guaranteeing the 33-year-old at least $11 million.
The deal also includes a $5-million club option for 2025 (or a $1-million buyout), locking up the veteran ahead of what was supposed to be the final year of his current contract.
After breaking into the big leagues with the Dodgers in 2014, Rojas was reacquired by the club in a trade with the Miami Marlins this winter. A career .260 hitter with a sure-handed glove, Rojas is expected to serve in a utility role for the Dodgers, capable of providing depth at shortstop, second and third base, and potentially left field as the team rearranges its defensive alignment.
"When I got the news that I was coming back to L.A., I couldn't have been happier," Rojas said Saturday afternoon.
"It could have been really sad, because of my time in Miami and everything that Miami means to me and my family," added Rojas, who spent the last eight seasons with the Marlins. "But when I knew I was coming back to L.A., I was just happy to come back to where everything started for me in the big leagues."
Rojas was also pleased with his recovery from a right wrist and hand injury that plagued him last season, when he batted .236, and required two separate procedures this winter - a ligament repair in his wrist and a bone removal between his index finger and thumb.
Three weeks after the second surgery, Rojas said he has been cleared to begin a hitting progression this coming week, putting him on track to potentially participate for Team Venezuela in next month's World Baseball Classic.
"It's doing so much better," Rojas said. "I want to play for Venezuela in the WBC, but I know it's going to take a lot of hard work to get there, and if I'm not feeling 100% I'm not gonna go. It's gonna be me deciding with the organization what's the best thing to do, and looking forward to being 100% healthy for spring training."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
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