The Dodgers have invited 22 non-roster players to spring training, including veteran reliever Mark Lowe, whom they signed to a minor league deal (names here via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, on Twitter). Left-hander Manny Banuelos, who was in serious talks with the Dodgers back in November, is also among those on the list.
The right-handed Lowe failed to crack the majors a year ago, instead dividing the season between the Triple-A affiliates of the Mariners and White Sox. The 34-year-old struggled across 48 2/3 innings at the minors’ highest level, with a 6.66 ERA and 8.0 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9. It was the second straight rough year for Lowe, whom the Tigers released last March after a 2016 campaign in which his velocity dropped and he recorded a 7.11 ERA, 8.94 K/9, 3.83 BB/9 and a 36.6 percent groundball rate over 49 1/3 frames. Even though they cut Lowe, the Tigers still had to pay his $5.5MM salary to close out the two-year, $11MM pact they awarded him in December 2015.
Lowe was excellent as recently as ’15 with Seattle and Toronto, which led to his sizable payday during the ensuing offseason, as he combined for career bests in ERA (1.96) and K/9 (9.98) across 55 innings. Lowe hasn’t been particularly consistent since debuting in the majors in 2006, however, as he has posted subpar production in several campaigns. All told, though, Lowe’s output has been passable – despite a below-average grounder rate (39.8 percent), he has registered a 4.22 ERA, 8.21 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 385 2/3 innings with six MLB teams.