Luis Cruz waves goodbye to Dodgers, opts for free agency

Luis Cruz, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers last week, has decided to become a free agent.
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

That separation with Luis Cruz became an official divorce Tuesday when the infielder opted for free agency rather than to accept a minor-league assignment with the Dodgers.

That Cruz cleared waivers hardly came as a surprise. And, really, neither did his choosing to gamble on free agency.

No team was going to sign Cruz and his .127 batting average, not to mention his .175 on-base and .169 slugging percentages. That adds up to the worst hitter in baseball, which would be why the Dodgers finally designated him for assignment Friday.


Cruz, 29, was out of options so he could elect free agency or an assignment to the Dodgers’ triple-A team in Albuquerque.

But Cruz already knew what was ahead of him with the Dodgers, and that they had elected to part ways, so he chose free agency. Now he will seek a minor-league gig with a team that might offer more potential opportunity.

Cruz was an unexpected delight during the second half of last season (.297/.322/.431) and the Dodgers went into the off-season naming him their starting third baseman for 2013.

It was more than a small gamble on a player who had spent most of the past 12 years bouncing around the minors and it never came close to paying dividends. Some you win, some you watch pop up most every at-bat.

Cruz was always great in the clubhouse and appreciative of being on a major-league team, but he never even hinted at the required results. He gave the Dodgers an interesting final six weeks last season (.331), but could not come close to sustaining it. It seemed a little too good to be true, and was.

Now the Dodgers’ primary third baseman is the man he replaced last year, Juan Uribe.