After designating fellow high-priced reliever Brian Wilson earlier today, and cleaning house more generally, the Dodgers are apparently looking to move on from another expensive remnant of the prior administration. Acordding to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link), the club is talking with competitors about righty Brandon League and offering to pick up “almost half” of the $7.5MM he is owed this year in a trade.
League, now 31, was signed to a three-year, $22.5MM deal just after the end of the 2012 season. Pursuant to that contract, he is owed the above-noted $7.5MM sum for 2015. The deal also includes a vesting option, though it is only triggered if he finishes 55 games in the coming season.
The contract was widely disparaged immediately upon signing, and League fell far short of expectations in its first year. But he was actually productive last season, working to a 2.57 ERA over 63 frames. Though his 5.4 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 do not inspire much confidence, he did generate an obscene 67.5% groundball rate. ERA estimators like FIP (3.40), xFIP (4.09), and SIERA (3.58) viewed him, collectively, as an essentially average relief pitcher.
Of course, there is value in being average, and some teams will perhaps be enticed by League’s groundball abilities, generally strong history before his 2013 meltdown, and his bottom-line results last year. As the Dodgers continue to clean out some of the team’s more notable players, the ability to move on from League and save some cash in the process apparently holds some appeal as well.