Shawn Tolleson-Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers Claim Shawn Tolleson Off Waivers

The Dodgers are letting go more players than signing new contracts so far this offseason. In a bit of a shocking turn of events, the Dodgers let one-time top prospect Shawn Tolleson go via way of the waiver line to Texas on Wednesday.

The 25-year old right-hander pitched in only one game with the Dodgers this past season. He walked two batters in the appearance, and he didn’t record an out. In 2012, Tolleson pitched in 40 games for the Dodgers, and he looked as though he had a promising future in the Dodgers bullpen. He went 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA and 39 strikeouts with 20 walks in 37 2/3 innings of work.


June 10, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson (38) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the 9th inning at Safeco Field. Los Angeles defeated Seattle 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Tolleson underwent Tommy John Surgery  in high school, and he missed most of his senior season. The Dodgers drafted Tolleson out of Baylor University in Texas in the 2010 draft. He pitched well in the Dodgers minor league system and was the primary closer for his minor league teams. He was promoted to the Dodgers in June of 2012.

After his brief 2013 appearance with the Dodgers, Shawn Tolleson succumbed to back surgery on April 25, 2013 to repair a herniated disc. After a return to the mound in August, he subsequently injured his hip during a minor league rehab assignment and was shut down for the remainder of the season.

Shawn Tolleson and Clayton Kershaw are friends, and they both were Dallas-area high school baseball stars.

“He was probably the best high school pitcher in Texas, bar none,” Kershaw said.

Kershaw was drafted out of high school, but Tolleson had to go on and play college ball while rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery. Kershaw even convinced Logan White to give Tolleson a chance even though there were concerns about his injury.

While it’s sort of sad to see Tolleson go (Elian Herrera‘s departure was a bit surprising for me as well), his medical issues must have been something that worried the Dodgers causing them to place him on waivers in anticipation of the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

Here’s to Tolleson finding health and success with Texas!

The Dodgers now have 31 players on their 40-man roster.

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Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers Shawn Tolleson

  • Emerson/Lake

    Do you think the Rangers got him to help lure Kershaw to sign with them next fall? I hate to lose him, but there could be a bigger plot at work as well.

    • LasordasLair

      No no no no. No chance. The Dodgers are going to resign Kershaw. They let Tolleson go because there isn’t any room for him on the 40 man roster. They’re letting some of these fringy players go because they have too many players that are blocked. Same deal with Castellanos, Herrera, etc etc. I don’t like losing Tolleson either, but he’s an average-ish middle reliever. I wouldn’t look too much into this.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      I don’t think Kershaw would follow Tolleson to Texas. Tolleson’s injuries have always concerned the Dodgers.

  • Emerson/Lake

    I hope you’re right, Stacie. Yet I will remain nervous about Clayton’s intentions until we get a deal done. He and his wife really seem more Texas than LA to me (and that is not a diss.) We could be looking at a big-time shootout and Texans don’t like to lose. I think that whatever the Dodger’s brain-trust is up to this off-season is being played so close to the vest, we don’t have a clue what is happening. All I know is that so far we’ve lost a bunch of guys who contributed last year and keep the ship sailing, while adding nothing new (except Guerrero who is a great unknown, and seems to be injured…he hasn’t played in 10 days. If you act fast, you get your deals done. If you don’t, you never know what’s going to happen.