The Dodgers have signed veteran right-hander Nate Jones to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City, per their Triple-A communications director Alex Freedman (Twitter link). Jones, a client of Sterling Sports Management, was designated for assignment and released by the Braves earlier in the week after a brief stint with Atlanta.
The 35-year-old Jones parlayed an excellent Spring Training effort into an Opening Day spot in the Atlanta ’pen but struggled mightily out of the gates with his new club. In 10 1/3 innings, he surrendered six runs (four earned) on the strength of eight hits and 10 walks.
Jones was once an excellent setup man with the White Sox but has struggled to stay on the field and put up lackluster results when healthy in recent seasons. In parts of eight seasons with the ChiSox, he pitched to a 3.12 ERA over the life of 291 1/3 innings. Whether he can ever reclaim that form remains to be seen, but Jones came out of the gates in 2021 with a still-very-healthy 95.8 mph average velocity on his heater. He’ll give the Dodgers some experienced depth in Oklahoma City and could eventually work his way onto the big league roster, particularly given the number of injuries in the L.A. bullpen. The Dodgers are currently without David Price, Corey Knebel, Brusdar Graterol and Scott Alexander.