Veteran righty Dale Thayer has opted out of his minor league contract with the Dodgers, MLBTR has learned. The 35-year-old reliever is represented by O’Connell Sports Management.
After receiving inconsistent MLB opportunities earlier in his career, Thayer established himself as a reliable member of the Padres’ pen in 2012. Over the next four years, he contributed 225 2/3 innings of 3.19 ERA pitching to San Diego, with 7.9 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9.
Thayer experienced a bit of a dip last year, as his strikeouts dropped and walks trended up. He ended up with a 4.06 ERA in 37 2/3 frames while also spending some time at Triple-A. But his velocity remained in line with recent years and his brief minor league tenure was successful. Thus far in 2016, pitching at the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, Thayer has a strong 10:2 K:BB ratio over eight innings, but he’s also allowed six earned runs on 16 hits.
Several organizations around baseball have struggled to find good innings from their middle relievers, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Thayer land another big league opportunity before long. Having entered the season with just over four years of MLB service on his ledger, Thayer also can be controlled via arbitration.