LOS ANGELES -- Garret Anderson had the second-lowest batting average of any player with 100 at-bats or more this season, .181, and the Dodgers on Sunday decided it was time to part ways.
The 38-year-old pinch-hitter and outfielder was designated for assignment, perhaps the end of a 17-year Major League career. Anderson hit two home runs and had 12 RBIs in 155 at-bats and 80 games. The Dodgers purchased the contract of Triple-A Albuquerque outfielder Jay Gibbons to take Anderson's place.
"Everything has its time and place," Dodgers general manager Ned Colleti said. "We just thought it was time to make a move. We respect Garret, he had a great career. Almost all of it was in this part of the country with Anahiem and the Dodgers. We wanted to give him very opportunity."
Anderson left the Dodger Stadium clubhouse before reporters arrived early Sunday morning. Colletti and manager Joe Torre said they did not know whether Anderson would retire.
Torre made sure he was at the stadium early so he could catch Anderson to deliver the news. Torre said the team made the decision on Saturday, and that it had wanted to promote Gibbons for some time.
"We just kept putting it off, putting it off, putting it off and we decided it was time to try it," Torre said. "I got here like 8:30 this morning, because I wanted to beat everybody here, get my workout in. I saw Garret in there, he was eating breakfast. I didn't want to bother him at that point, I just found a spot in the lunch room where he was the only one in there and I just went in and sat with him. It didn't take very long. Just came right out and told him that we were going to do something different and he's going to be designated. He said 'OK, thank you.'"
Anderson had never been in a reserve role before this season, a role Torre said the left-handed hitter embraced but wasn't able to contribute from.
"We just were hoping that he'd be a little bit more productive," Torre said. "He was turning it up all the way but he was just coming away a little short at this point in time."
The Dodgers have needed more productivity from their bench this season than they expected with injuries to Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez and Rafael Furcal. The bench has been shorthanded all week because of Furcal's strained back, which did not land him on the DL but has kept him out of action. The Dodgers have scored the fewest runs of any team since the All-Star break.
Torre said Anderson was close with first baseman James Loney and center fielder Matt Kemp, who sat on his right and left, respectively, in the clubhouse.