Dodgers Close To Multi-Year Deal With J.P. Howell

The Dodgers are nearing agreement on a multi-year deal with southpaw reliever J.P. Howell, reports Ken Gurnick of According to Gurnick, the deal contemplates a $11.25MM guarantee for two seasons. It would also contain a $6.25MM vesting option for a third year that will become guaranteed with 120 appearances over 2014-15.

Howell, 30, is represented by the Legacy Agency. He played in Los Angeles last year after inking a one-year, $2.85MM deal that included $1.2MM in achievable incentives. He was among the best left-handed relief options on the market this time around. Two other top lefties landed three-year deals, with Javier Lopez obtaining a $13MM guarantee from the Giants and Boone Logan netting $16.5MM from the Rockies. But Howell's deal betters those two in average annual value, and easily eclipses the two-year, $5.5MM commitment that Manny Parra received from the Reds.

Though Howell is slightly older than Logan, he is coming off of a better season. Howell registered a 2.03 ERA in 62 innings for the Dodgers in 2013, striking out 7.8 batters per nine innings while allowing 3.3 walks and 6.1 hits per nine. Advanced metrics were a fan of his work last year as well, with an FIP landing at 2.89 and an xFIP at 3.48. 

On the other hand, those same measures were much less pleased by Howell's 2011-12 campaigns, leaving at least some cause to wonder whether he can repeat his 2013 results. Steamer and Oliver projections, via Fangraphs, both see Howell as likely to regress. Predicting a bump up in his low HR/9 and BABIP numbers from last year, those systems peg him as a mid-3.00 ERA hurler next year.

27 Responses to Dodgers Close To Multi-Year Deal With J.P. Howell Leave a Reply

  1. forkball27 2 years ago

    Well there goes the hope for a veteran lefty in the bullpen for the Tigers

  2. nick silverman 2 years ago

    Great re-signing if happens. Not a lot of elite southpaw relievers out there. Dodgers needed Howell back in the fold given Paco’s struggles down the stretch.

  3. Dbacksfan44 2 years ago

    Maybe 3 yr 15-21 million

  4. Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 2 years ago

    Gotta think it’s around 3/15, but I’d like to see 2/12. Higher AAV to offset one less year.

    EDIT: 2/11.25, solid deal!

  5. fatdaddy 2 years ago

    he’s really come around the last couple seasons. he blew SO many games in 2011 for the Rays including an elimination game in the playoffs.

  6. drwheelock 2 years ago

    According to, Rakuten Golden Eagles owner Hiroshi Mikitani will allow Masahiro Tanaka to be posted this offseason.

    The news, though not official, was passed along by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. There have been some doubts about whether Tanaka would be posted this winter, with one recent report suggesting that the Rakuten Golden Eagles were planning to convince him to stick around for another year, but they will apparently grant him his wish and let him come to MLB. The new posting system has a maximum bid of $20 million, so we’d be surprised if the number of teams involved in negotiations doesn’t go over double-digits. The Yankees, Cubs, Angels, Dodgers and Diamondbacks are among the teams expected to be in the mix.

    Source: Dylan Hernandez on Twitter

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 2 years ago

      For those wondering: As Hernandez’s tweets on the subject demonstrate, there is some ambiguity in the report, which is why we have not run it.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

        It was more than a tweet, it is a story in the LA Times.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 2 years ago

          I’m not denigrating the tweets; the point is that the underlying Sanspo story was somewhat ambiguous, which Hernandez himself points out.

          But thanks for noting that he put together a piece on it. Will take a look.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

            I’d call it not fully sourced. It’s less ambiguous than a lot of rumors.

          • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 2 years ago

            That’s roughly what I meant — it was, perhaps, a report of ambiguous import — but I would agree that your phrasing better captures the point.

            Anyhow, thanks for noting the Hernandez article. Wrote it up in the Tanaka post, though it was largely superseded by the 2nd Sanspo report of the evening.

  7. N.K.T. 2 years ago

    I think that about a raps up the dodgers offseason, unless of course they make a run at tanaka

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      No bench, no utility infielders, a couple of missing pieces in the bullpen. Other than that…

      • Matt 2 years ago

        The bench would consist (right now) of Van Slyke, Gordon, Fed Ex, and one of the 4 OF’s. Definitely in need of some upgrading, perhaps a couple utility IF’s and a 4th OF if one of the 4 gets traded.

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          I hope not. I would not expect Van Slyke or Gordon to be on the 25-man roster.

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          I hope not. I would not expect Van Slyke or Gordon to be on the 25-man roster.

  8. Brandon Mason 2 years ago

    This would be a Good (re)Signing by the Dodgers.

  9. Tre-Day
    Tre-Day 2 years ago

    He was nails for the Dodgers last year, and it never seemed like the moment was too big for him. Glad to hear he’s coming back.

  10. IamTinman 2 years ago

    2/11.5 Great signing

  11. Jose Villasano 2 years ago

    yes yes

  12. TrueBlue44 2 years ago

    With Elbert coming back, I thought we would start to go younger. A good signing, I’m glad to see him back in Dodger Blue.

    • markjsunz 2 years ago

      There goal is to go younger but getting a pitcher that can be used for a situational lefty who can come in and get a tough hitting southpaw out is very hard to find.
      Rodriguez who had good stuff most of the year either tired toward the end of the season or once around the League they figured him out.
      Either way you win and lose so many games between the 6th inning on. Howell has ice water in his veins.
      That is what you need when you come in with men on base. As for Elbert it remains to be seen what the Dodgers will do,

  13. Pavilionbum 2 years ago

    Dodgers bullpen looking solid. Will probably try to add one more reliever, but it’s in good shape as is.

    League (nevermind him)

    Beckett and/or Billingsley could be added to the equation. Scott Elbert’s also in the mix but coming off an injury.

    • Tre-Day
      Tre-Day 2 years ago

      I think Dominguez will be added in at some point. I was really impressed with what I saw out of him before his quad injury kept him out for the rest of the year. I’m excited we have a young fireballer like him, and I think he’ll be a great arm for us for a long time.

    • Matt 2 years ago

      League might, and I stress might, surprise some this upcoming season. He underwent lasik this off-season, so that could help a lot. Dodgers still need to add 1 or 2 more relievers though. Elbert is out most of the year recovering from tommy John, so he isn’t an option.

  14. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

    I don’t care if he regresses so long as he continues to touch the mound with his glove before every pitch.

  15. Visionsofsilver 2 years ago

    Great re-signing. Hope he stays healthy and can put up similar numbers!

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