The Dodgers have signed right-hander Sam LeCure to a minor league contract, according to Oklahoma City Dodgers director of media relations Alex Freedman (on Twitter). The veteran right-hander will join the OKC Dodgers (the team’s Triple-A affiliate) today for their road game in Nashville, Freedman adds. LeCure, a client of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, hinted at the move himself last night when he tweeted that the Dodgers were his “new favorite team.”
LeCure, who will turn 32 early next month, signed a minors pact with the division-rival D-backs this offseason but was released late in Spring Training after he was informed that he hadn’t made the club. LeCure has extensive Major League experience, all of which has come with the Reds, for whom he pitched at the Major League level from 2010-15. In those six big league seasons, LeCure worked to a very solid 3.51 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 46 percent ground-ball rate. Somewhat curiously, he’s had considerably more success against left-handed batters than he has against right-handed batters across the past four seasons. It’s also worth noting that his strikeout rate dipped dramatically in 2014-15, and his average fastball velocity (which was never high in the first place), fell to 87.4 mph.
The veteran LeCure will give the Dodgers some additional depth in the bullpen. Los Angeles currently has Chris Hatcher, Yimi Garcia, Joe Blanton, Pedro Baez and Louis Coleman as right-handed options to help bridge the gap to standout closer Kenley Jansen. As such, LeCure will join fellow veteran Dale Thayer (who also recently signed a minors deal with L.A.) with the OKC Dodgers and hope to get a crack at the big league roster somewhere down the line.