Dodgers Re-Sign Brandon League

10:24pm: The 2016 vesting option can escalate from $7.5MM to $9MM based on games finished, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter).  League can also earn an additional $500K per year based on games finished.

8:27pm: League's option for 2016 is worth $7.5MM and will vest if he finishes 55 games in 2015, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

8:01pm: The deal, negoatiated by League's representatives at ACES, is worth $22.5MM across three years with a vesting option, according to Tim Dierkes (via Twitter). 

7:01pm: The Dodgers have re-signed reliever Brandon League, a source tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter).  There's no word on the dollar amount yet but Hernandez reports that the deal is for three years (Twitter link).

League's representatives told Hernandez on Saturday afternoon that the two sides were discussing a three-year contract.  The 29-year-old earned $5MM last season in his final year as an arbitration eligible player.

The Dodgers acquired League on July 30th for a pair of minor leaguers, outfielder Leon Landry and right-hander Logan Bawcom.  In 28 appearances for the Dodgers last season, the California native posted a 2.30 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9.  League was less-than-stellar in Seattle but rebounded nicely in Los Angeles and finished out the year as closer.

The Dodgers are hoping to keep most of their bullpen in place and General Manager Ned Colletti has said that he hopes to hang on to League, Jamey Wright, and Randy Choate.  As a whole, the Dodgers' pen had a 3.23 ERA on the year, good for fourth-best in the National League and eighth-best in the majors.


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98 Comments on "Dodgers Re-Sign Brandon League"


Jose Villasano
2 years 10 months ago

yes

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

Ill take it. Probably will overpay but I’d rather overpay now with money than mid season in prospects

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

I’m not paying and neither are you, so who cares how much they pay? Just put together a winning team, Ned. That’s all this Dodger fan asks.

dylanp5030
2 years 10 months ago

All fans are paying.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

My ticket prices went down this year.

Bob George
2 years 10 months ago

All fans and non-fans alike pay for horrible contracts. Both through higher ticket prices, but in the unexpected things like products from sponsors of the teams, who charge higher prices to cover their higher advertising costs, which the teams charge more for to recoup the crazy contracts they hand out. We all pay, even the non-sports fans.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

In general principle maybe but when you get down to specific cases, not so much. A huge part of a team’s revenue and thus profits come from media rights. If the owners can field a team worth watching on TV they can make a whole lot more money. So good luck figuring out as a fan how you are paying for “horrible” player contracts.

Oren Kreps
2 years 10 months ago

As a Giants fan, I’m absolutely ecstatic that the Dodgers have chosen to pay for a mediocre reliever aided by the ‘closer myth’. Thank you Agent Ned.

dieharddodgerfan
2 years 10 months ago

I think you mean “pay” for a mediocre reliever, except League is a proven closer who was very, very good for the Dodgers down the stretch.

LOL, we don’t have one closer, we got 3 guys who can close (Belisario, League and Jansen).

If the Dodgers re-sign Choate and maybe add the Japanese closer, Fujikawa, the Dodgers’ bullpen is going to be very good in ’13.

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

The “proven closer” myth is silly. Todd Jones and Joe Borowski were “proven closers” too.

Besides, how is racking up 37 saves one season and then losing your gig to a rookie the following year proving yourself? League has 60 career saves and the M’s dumped him for a superior arm this season.

League is what he is. A good reliever who throws hard and gets ground-balls. He’s probably miscast as a closer because he’s too one-sided. He crushes right-handed hitters but is underwhelming against lefties.

Oren Kreps
2 years 10 months ago

The problem is, you, and apparently Ned Colletti, believe that the ‘proven closer’ is actually a thing that matters. The Giants just won the world series without a ‘proven closer’, and the bullpen was brilliant in October. Why? Because Bochy was not afraid to actually use his best relievers as they should be used – in the most critical, dangerous situations.

As for League, he doesn’t strike many people out and walks a lot of people – never a good combination. His career era is in the upper 3s, which is awful for a reliever, and his peripherals support that.

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

Don’t forget the complete and utter meltdown suffered by the Tigers’ own “proven closer.” Valverde was unusable in the World Series.

2 years 10 months ago

BS dude. The Giants paid Affeldt to 3 years, $14m and Lopez to 2 years, $8.5m last off-season. Don’t try to change the narrative because your team won the title.

Oren Kreps
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah, and I hated those deals. But at least they were paying for actual performance versus a quality that simply doesn’t exist. They are both better relievers, and worth more, than Brandon League.

2 years 10 months ago

Lopez is only valuable vs. lefties, and if Affeldt is better, it’s only marginally. 3 years, $14m for the Giants is equivalent to what the Dodgers gave League (3 years, $21m) as the Dodgers payroll seems limitless.

Oren Kreps
2 years 10 months ago

Have I defended the Affeldt and Lopez deals? I didn’t like them. If I were a Dodgers fan, I wouldn’t like this deal.

2 years 10 months ago

Never said I liked this deal as well

jjs91
2 years 10 months ago

They are both better relievers, and worth more, than Brandon League.” No they are not.

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

Context. They overpaid both those guys to keep their 2010 World Series winning team together. Thats a little different than just overpaying to keep a guy who had a couple good meaningless months around. Also the Affeldt contract wasn’t 3/14, it was a guaranteed 2/9.5 with a 4.5 mil option. That’s significant because most middle relievers are so inconsistent offering multiple years is a big risk. You may as well call League’s deal 4/31.5 if you’re gonna call Affeldt’s 3/14. Also, both those guys are better than League.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

He’s a sinkerballer, he gets away with low Ks with an ability to get out of jams. And a 3 ERA for a reliever is not awful. He’s not elite but he is still very good. He had a 3.13 ERA for the year and a 2.3 era with us

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

Four actually, if Guerra returns in good shape.

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

Oh, hi Ned!

Invaderbro
2 years 10 months ago

Dont forget Paco

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

Colletti pulls a Dombrowski and overpays for a setup man with a three-year deal during the offseason’s infancy.

If it’s something like 3/9 or 3/10 that’s one thing, but if he ends up having paid 3/16.5+ (Benoit’s deal with Detroit) then it’s senseless. Sure the Dodgers have deep pockets now, but what’s the point in setting the market price this early? It’s not like he’s getting another Kenley Jansen type of arm.

League is a solid reliever, but there’s no cause to give three years at market value to a setup man on October 30. I’m sure League is thrilled to be getting three years though, considering nearly tripled his walk rate this season and lost the closer gig in Seattle just three months ago.

You’d think the Guerrier deal would’ve made them more cautious (granted, League is better than Guerrier).

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

Are you the Dodgers’ accountant?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

League made 5M last season and was a rock at the end of the year. There was mutual interest and he dodgers always have strong pens. However, if one of Belisario or Jansen go down, and they each have question marks, he dodgers would be in the market for a reliever. And with that comes overpaying with prospects. I’d rather over pay in dollars, apparently it’s gonna be 7M per, and it gets us out of the market, except for maybe Choate, who will get a one year deal

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

And who else was available on the market? Not hardly anyone. If the Dodgers get lucky and Jansen’s ticker is okay, Guerra’s oblique heals, and Bellasario keeps his head together, the Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches at the back end of the bullpen in 2013. If they don’t get lucky, then what? The armchair GMs think going for the luck is the better deal.

jphenix2002
2 years 10 months ago

I was just about to state how this reminds me of Dombrowski’s signing of Benoit. For an overpay, he has turned out well (sans this year’s Hr/9 rate). Of course I still would rather have done the “3/10″ but everyone knows Detroit has to overpay to bring stars into town. It’s not as senseless as say, I don’t know, 3/22.5 for a guy that put together half a year.

Speaking of League, I had hope the Tigers would check up on him, but after seeing the years and dollars of the contract I’m glad DD didn’t even get a chance to talk to League’s agent.

And while I’m giving my two cents I’d like to add I hate RP contracts longer than two years plus a team option, but as long as GM’s are willing to pass them out relievers will get deals too big for them.

toptimrubies
2 years 10 months ago

Except that Bochy still continued to use the traditional closer role–using Romo as the closer. But I agree with you about the Closer title.

This isn’t the best idea in my opinion, but it does free up their best reliever Jansen to be used in more critical situations, rather than being saved for only “save situations.”

jigsawkane
2 years 10 months ago

3 years, $23M. Oh Ned.

theophilus166
2 years 10 months ago

In past years, the dollar amount on this contract would matter because it would limit the money the Dodgers could spend in other areas. But with new ownership, it’s mostly irrelevant. The Dodgers thought his problem was mechanical coming from Seattle, and he pitched well at the end of the season, so they must believe it’s fixed.

rainyperez
2 years 10 months ago

I cannot even imagine how big Jeremy Affeldt’s agent’s grin is right now. 7 million for League’s numbers. Wow. Just. Wow.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

Threw to a 2.3 ERA with the dodgers, protection for Jansen and Belisario and they feel they fixes the problem in Seattle. An overpay? Yeah, but worth it

rainyperez
2 years 10 months ago

Can’t say its worth it yet until this deal is over. Or he suddenly becomes a top 10 reliever in 2013.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

He is important for the dodgers. He will give us another guy that gives Donnie another option late in the games

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

Yes, because $22.5M contracts should be handed out based on a 27-inning sample size. That’s almost a 1-to-1 correlation in innings and millions. By that logic, a Kershaw extension should be right around $1.4 billion over seven years.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

Okay, over the last 3 years he has a 3.14 ERA and a 122 ERA+. He is a sinkerballer in a pitchers park and will be our 7th or 8th inning guy. And like I said, if Jansen or Belisario have issues, this contract becomes that much more important. He was most likely going to go to FA looking for more than just a $2M raise. The Dodgers decided to stick with the guy they feel they fixed his mechanical problem and he will make a very strong back end of the pen. Our starters need to go only 6 innings to have a very good shot at a victory. You don’t like it, fine. But this will be a good deal if he is anything like he has been since 2010, which I think you will say is a large enough sample size to have some weight

Joe Valenti
2 years 10 months ago

the problem is “if” he continues to produce. Other than elite closers and very few extremely elite setup men this is a big if. $22M is an unprecedented amount to give a middle reliever, especially considering he only be the 7th inning guy

jjs91
2 years 10 months ago

He’s a reliever that’s half his sample and he has had a good career before that.

dwarfcatt
2 years 10 months ago

I, for one, am looking forward to reading about Kershaw’s 7 year, $1.4 Billion extension

Colin Christopher
2 years 10 months ago

No kidding. Rafael Soriano must be out buying bottles of Dom for everyone he runs into at this point.

jjs91
2 years 10 months ago

Over the last 3 yrs league has been better add that to fact that he’s younger and was in the al, and tell me why affeldt should be grinning?

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

Affeldt is a free agent. The implication is that because Affeldt is a better pitcher than League his market price just went up to ridiculous levels.

jjs91
2 years 10 months ago

Ahh i see so if other teams gms dont know that affeldt is inferior to league he can get a bigger contract despite his age and the fact that he only found success in the nl got it.

Joe Valenti
2 years 10 months ago

That doesn’t even matter. Even if Affeldt is worse, a MLB caliber relief pitcher was overpaid. The assumption would be that Affeldt is equally likely to be overpaid on a different scale

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

Eh, the only team that’s gonna hand out that kind of contract is the Dodgers. Maybe they’ll sign all the middle relievers, but if not those guys are probably still gonna be looking at re-signing for the same kind of money they were getting.

$22264602
2 years 10 months ago

That’s…quite the overpay. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you need to be ridiculous with it. League in no way deserves this deal , but good for him though.

alxn
2 years 10 months ago

Agree with this. And to Dodgers fans saying it doesnt matter because of how much money the owners are willing to spend: it will matter, eventually. Look at the trouble the Yankees are having trying to trim their payroll. This money could have gone toward something more productive, and it’s not like the Dodgers can just continually buy wins until they get enough for a championship. At some point, the opportunity cost of a contract like this could be the difference between making the playoffs or not.

rainyperez
2 years 10 months ago

To put this deal in perspective. Different players, yes one’s a starting pitcher and the other is a reliever.

The Giants Madison Bumgarner deal from 2013-2016 will pay him $21 Million which is about $1.5 million less than League. If I’m a Dodger fan I’m excited that ownership will spend the money. If you’re not then, well, hey the Dodgers are who we thought they were. Ned being Ned.

thegrayrace
2 years 10 months ago

Bumgarner is under team control and his contract covered league minimum and arbitration seasons. I agree that this is an overpay for League, but Bumgarner is a pointless comparison.

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

Yea its really not fair to compare them at all. While this League contract is insane, he had more bargaining power than Bumgarner did.

Karkat
2 years 10 months ago

Well the Dodgers did have all that payroll flexibility so might as well toss him a little extra right

ima_robot_beepbeepbeep
2 years 10 months ago

Dodgers are getting extremely reckless in the spending department.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

Not really. They are able to give guys a few million more than most, but it’s not “extremely reckless”. We are paying guys who have performed, not Juan Rivera like last year

hoagiebuchanan
2 years 10 months ago

Yes really. Simple as that. Yes really. Willing to give guys “a few more million”? Define “extremely reckless” to me. You’ll be paying a late-inning reliever almost double what you payed Juan Rivera per year!

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

League was going to go into free agency asking for a 4 year deal. Guerrier got a 3 year deal last year and League is a better pitcher. League was going to compare himself to Papelbon, saying his ERA was within .2 runs of Papelbon over the last 3 years before his free agency and he threw more innings over the same number of years. Would he have gotten 50M? No, but again, if someone saw him as a closer- another pitch was gonna be he closed games for a team in the playoff hunt- he easily could have asked for an annual salary of 7M. Like I said, he made 5M without the benefit of free agency. Reckless would be giving him Papelbon’s contract

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

On what planet do you think League could have sniffed a Papelbon contract? He doesn’t have the track record of dominance, the strikeouts, the control, or the gaudy saves total (which sadly teams will pay for).

The Dodgers outbid themselves on League by a good $12MM. You can like League as a pitcher and you can love the Dodgers, but there’s no sense in blindly applauding every move they make simply because they’re one of your teams.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

read it again. I did not say he would have gotten that contract, or should have. In fact, I said he would NOT have gotten 50M. I said he could most likely use it as a selling point to other teams. Like I said, their stats the previous 3 years before free agency are quite similar. Their ERA are very similar and League had more innings pitched during that time. The saves are a big difference, as were the Ks. Not sure what you are talking about control, as the walks were remarkably similar (3.0 for League, 2.8 for Papelbon). Anyways, if you read the post, I said he would NOT get the contract, but that he would use the similarities in his conversations.

And if you read all my comments, I’ve been very clear about what I think about this. We overpaid, no doubt. However, it was a necessary overpayment to do what Colletti said he wanted to do- keep the pen intact. Also, there is no way League was going to get 3/10, when he is coming off making 5M and posted good numbers.

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

He was very good in his time with the Dodgers, but his overall 2012 wasn’t really that good. A 6.75/4.13 K/BB ratio is pretty awful, not the kind of thing you want to see from a reliever you’re giving multiple guaranteed years to and definitely not the kind of thing you want to see from a guy you’re giving 20+ mil to. This is a pretty insane contract. They didn’t just overpay, they overpaid by at least one year and 12 mil, probably more like 2 years and 19 mil.

dieharddodgerfan
2 years 10 months ago

You are stating the most important point: League was better during his time with the Dodgers. League has said that Honeycutt found a mechanical flaw and after they corrected it, he was lights out.

Numbers don’t lie: 2.30 ERA/1.13 WHIP/27 K’s/27 IP/6 SVs/ 0 blown SVs

League looked like the League who saved 37 games.

They overpaid, but he was going to probably get at least 3 yrs and $5 million per year from some team who would have used him as their closer, IMO. So they probably paid 33% more.

But if you look big picture, that overpaid amount has no effect on the Dodgers because I am sure they are operating with a really big budget now.

In other words, signing League to this contract is not going to prohibit them from signing Greinke, if a deal makes sense for them. They’ve got plenty of money to spend towards ’13.

The Data
2 years 10 months ago

“Numbers don’t lie”.

So true. That’s why Sam Fuld is the modern day Ted Williams now.

dieharddodgerfan
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah you are right, the dramatic improvement he experienced after they fixed a mechanical flaw (returning him more to his form when he closed for the Mariners) was a fluke and a result of small sample size.

LOL, how about the possibility that they fixed his delivery and he was dominant again? He still had the 97 mph fastball and hard slider, he just needed to control them better and he did after they fixed his mechanics.

But, nah, let’s just chalk it up to small sample size…

Joe Valenti
2 years 10 months ago

No, we are not chalking it up to a small sample size. We are chalking it up to the fact that every other GM in baseball would chalk it up to a small sample size so the only people who rally have 100% faith in his mechanics are the Dodgers….meaning they outbid themselves

go_jays_go
2 years 10 months ago

Your comparison of League to Papelbon is wrong. Papelbon’s big bucks comes from his saves and League is very lacking in that area.

A League/Downs or League/Benoit comparison are much better because they are all mid-relievers.

Scott Downs signed a 3yr/$15m contract after 2010
2010 stats:
– 2.64 ERA, 61.1 IP
– 7.04 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, 0.44 HR/9

Joaquin Benoit signed a 3yr/$16.5m contract after 2010
2010 stats:
– 1.34 ERA, 60.1 IP
– 11.19 K/9, 1.64 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9

Brandon League signed a 3yr/$22.5m contract after 2012
2012 stats:
– 3.13 ERA, 72.0 IP
– 6.75 K/9, 4.13 BB/9, 0.13 HR/9

Back then, I remember people calling the Downs and Benoit deals an overpayment. The reality is that Dodgers did way overpay for League. Why? Because they got Ned Colletti as their GM.

A low HR rate and a low BABIP will be central to League’s effectiveness. His career WHIP of 1.275 is really high for a reliever, so hitters are getting on base. Once guys start hitting HRs, League will be toast. Good thing he pitches in Dodgers’ stadium.

baybombers
2 years 10 months ago

Thats the truth. People like those are what we call “homers”

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

They just gave League at least 10 mil more total than he would’ve got anywhere else.

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

Early nominee for worst contract of the offseason. Well done, Colletti.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
2 years 10 months ago

Since 2010, when he became a full time closer, he has a 3.14 ERA, averaging 70 games a year, with a 122 ERA+. Ill take it for a 7th or 8th inning guy

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

You realize that’s not that great of an ERA for a reliever, right? And most of that ERA value comes from 2011 where he was walking less than 1.5 batters per 9 innings and had some HR/FB luck. Last year he walked over 4 per 9. This will come close to matching the Juan Uribe disaster in LA.

Patick L
2 years 10 months ago

No use going on about this. Come back next year and give us an update.

Gumby65
2 years 10 months ago

Not sure why people are betting bent about this. He is making precisely the League average.

dshires4
2 years 10 months ago

Because league average for any other position is cool, just not for a 7th or 8th inning pitcher. There’s a thousand arms out there that all throw just as hard as League, and any one of them has the potential to step in and throw the ball by hitters just well enough to get three outs. There’s no point in paying relievers top notch dollars when there’s ample evidence that relievers, for the most part, are an unpredictable agent, and should not be paid like the rest of the league.

As a Mariners fan, this contract makes me laugh.

Colin Christopher
2 years 10 months ago

What? League average at the beginning of the season was $3.44MM, according to a report from ESPN. At 3 years, $22.5MM, League is going to make over twice the average salary to give the Dodgers about 60 innings a season.

dodgers33dodgers
2 years 10 months ago

you didnt get the post…League average as in his name…it was a joke!!

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
2 years 10 months ago

The League average. Good one. 😉

Kevin Doan
2 years 10 months ago

Brandon League…..League average…..i guess some people really do need captain obvious to save them….

BLB25
2 years 10 months ago

Because he’s getting paid like a 1.5-2 WAR player, but he’s only been more than a 1 WAR player once in his career. And his walk rate jumped to an extremely concerning level in ’12. And its doubtful he’ll pitch more than 75 innings. You probably don’t want to pay league average to a guy who is going to be such a small part of your team unless he’s going to be really, really good the few innings he plays.

dshires4
2 years 10 months ago

Jeeze. Talk about overpaying when no other team can even legally bid on your players services.

Bob George
2 years 10 months ago

$7.5 mil per year for a setup man. Ridiculous. I think the fines they will pay for being over the cap is another $1.685 mil per year just on League’s contract.

CAD_Monkey
2 years 10 months ago

The best part of the deal? Ned signed him to be the closer, freeing up Kenley to pitch innings other than the 9th.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
2 years 10 months ago

JJ Hardy 3yr / 21 million deal last yr.
Brandon League 3 yr / 22.5 million
The Orioles gave Hardy a fair contract
I think the Dodgers overpaid for League, especially since he is just an average relief pitcher.

bigpat
2 years 10 months ago

Thank you Dodgers for ruining the market for relief pitchers, hopefully other teams take this with a grain of salt because this is such a silly deal and just write it off as the Dodgers being the Dodgers.

hoagiebuchanan
2 years 10 months ago

These Dodgers trolls peg on a level of Yankee ones.

jpkinney7
2 years 10 months ago

Guy seems to walk way too many for a late inning reliever. Should make things exciting. As soon as the NL figures this out, the sooner League will be pitching in the 6th inning for the Dodgers. Bad move. Great for the trade market. Go A’s!!!