The Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their position player depth on July 21 with a trade for Billy McKinney from the New York Mets in exchange for Minor League outfielder Carlos Rincon.
McKinney began the year with the Milwaukee Brewers before being traded to the Mets in late May. Between the two teams he hit .213/.282/.415 with eight home runs.
McKinney made his Dodgers debut on July 22 against the San Francisco Giants and went 1-for-3 with a double. He went on to appear in 21 of the club’s next 23 games, making 15 starts in right field.
Despite hitting only .204/.290/.383 over the span, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts felt McKinney was providing the club with quality at-bats.
“The value is it’s a good at-bat. In the eight-hole, he’s not there to carry the offense,” Roberts said of McKinney at the time. “He’s there to take good at-bats, see pitches and turn the lineup over, which he has done.”
McKinney continued to receive regular playing time until Sept. 10, when he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hip impingement.
The 27-year-old did not appear in another regular season game but was on the Dodgers’ postseason roster for both the Wild Card Game and National League Division Series. He logged just one at-bat over a combined three games against the St. Louis Cardinals and Giants.
In 37 games with the Dodgers during the regular season, McKinney batted .146/.276/.232 with two doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBI over 98 plate appearances.
McKinney’s 2021 highlight
McKinney’s best performance of the 2021 season came on June 9 as a member of the Mets when he went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in a 14-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
On Nov. 20, the Dodgers designated McKinney and Zach Reks for assignment to create room for Jacob Amaya, Michael Grove, Eddys Leonard, James Outman and Jorbit Vivas on their 40-man roster.
L.A. did such to protect against the aforementioned Minor Leaguers from potentially being selected in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft, which could be held as soon as a new collective bargaining agreement is in place.
Three days later, McKinney and Reks were traded to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations. McKinney has since been non-tendered and is now free to sign with any team.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!