Dodgers trying to keep League
Relief pitcher Brandon League is entering free agency for the first time this winter but the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to do their best to make sure he doesn’t reach it. The team traded for the former Seattle Mariners closer before the trade deadline and by the end of the season worked his way back up to closing, this time for a playoff contender. Over his last 21 appearances, League had a 0.40 ERA with six saves, so I can’t say I blame them for trying.
The Dodgers are optimistic about their chances of re-signing free-agent reliever Brandon League, General Manager Ned Colletti said Friday.
“He has interest in coming back and we have interest in keeping him,” Colletti said.
The Dodgers are talking to League’s representatives about a three-year contract, according to people familiar with the negotiations. (LA Times)
My question is how much will a contract cost the Dodgers? League made $5 million last season in his final arbitration year. After going 2-1 with six saves a 2.30 ERA and averaging a strikeout per inning with the Dodgers you know he’ll be in line for another raise.
Money is no object to the new Dodgers ownership but are they willing to pay much more for a guy who might not be their closer? Kenly Jansen is waiting in the wings and was successful till he had late season heart issues. So really it should come down to who does the Dodgers think will be their closer. If it’s not League he shouldn’t get much more then $6-7 million per.
I’m thinking it will come down to health though. No one knows what to expect from Jansen as he recently had another heart procedure. So the Dodgers will most likely give Brandon what he wants and if he’s not closing he’s a more then adequate safety net.
Now here’s something that can throw a huge wrinkle in both thought processes. The Dodgers are interested in Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa. Fujikawa has been the nations top closer the last few seasons, sporting a 1.26 ERA over the past eight years. He’s a hard thrower too with a mid-90s fastball.