6:02pm: Eddy now tweets that he’s been informed by the D-Backs’ baseball operations department that they are not in agreement with League on a contract (Twitter link). League, then, remains a free agent.
5:36pm: The Diamondbacks have agreed to a minor league pact with right-hander Brandon League, reports Baseball America’s Matt Eddy (Twitter link). League was designated for assignment by the Dodgers about two weeks ago and released by the team last week. He’s represented by ACES.
Now 32 years old, League’s three-year, $22.5MM contract with the Dodgers (signed under the previous front office’s watch) was widely panned from day one. That’s not to say League had necessarily been a poor pitcher, but perhaps not one deserving of such a hefty commitment. The Dodgers picked up League in a trade with the Mariners midway through the 2012 season, and he rode a stretch of 27 1/3 solid innings (2.30 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 4.2 BB/9) to that contract.
League’s first full year with the Dodgers was a notable disappointment, as he worked to a 5.30 ERA and saw his strikeout rate plummet to 4.6 K/9. League did log 54 1/3 innings that season, but he quickly lost the closer’s role to Kenley Jansen and spent much of his time late in the year working in mop-up duty. League does deserve credit for the second year of that contract, however, as he quietly enjoyed an excellent rebound campaign. Last year, League tossed 63 innings of 2.57 ERA ball, averaging 5.4 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 with an outstanding 67.3 percent ground-ball rate.
A shoulder impingement prevented League from logging a single Major League inning this season, but he had very good results in a minor league rehab stint, yielding just one earned run on 10 hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. League will give the D-Backs an experienced depth piece that could factor into their bullpen in the second half. His addition could become more significant if Arizona parts with some pieces from its current bullpen in trade over the next two weeks; fill-in closer Brad Ziegler has been speculatively mentioned as a trade candidate, and Addison Reed is said to be available as well.