The Dodgers are moving towards a one-year contract with J.P. Howell, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). The deal has not been finalized, however. The left-hander is a Legacy Sports Group client.
Howell, 29, pitched to a 3.04 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 50 1/3 innings for the Rays last season after missing all of 2010 and part of 2011 due to shoulder surgery. He held left-handed batters to a .200/.306/.306 batting line with a 52.4% ground ball rate in 2012. Howell is a soft-tosser, averaging just 87.1 mph with his fastball last year according to PitchFX.
The Dodgers have not been shy about spending over the last eight months or so. They've re-signed Brandon League while adding Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu this offseason, plus they acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and others during the season. Howell would replace the departed Randy Choate, who took a three-year deal with the Cardinals a few weeks ago.
This post was originally published on January 4th.