With a need to fill in their starting rotation and upgrade the bullpen, the Los Angeles Dodgers have thus far opted against signing any of the marquee pitchers who were available. Jon Lester and Max Scherzer were signed by the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, respectively, and Andrew Miller joined the New York Yankees.
For as much as the Dodgers needed to upgrade the bullpen, they reportedly weren’t interested in signing Miller to a deal along the lines of what he received from the Yankees. Instead, the Dodgers have added the likes of Chris Hatcher and Joel Peralta via trades, and signed Sergio Santos to a Minor League deal with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Santos can earn $1 million if he makes the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster and just over $3 million in bonuses:
If Santos makes the #Dodgers' opening-day roster, he will earn a base salary of $1 million. Can earn an additional $3.05 million in bonuses.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) January 29, 2015
Santos began last season as the Toronto Blue Jays’ closer with Casey Janssen unavailable, but he struggled and lost the job. He finished 0-3 with an 8.57 ERA, 2.19 WHIP, and 29 strikeouts in 26 appearances. Santos’ troubles resulted in him twice being designated for assignment.
Santos then became a free agent this offseason after the Blue Jays elected to pay the $750,000 buyout in his contract rather than exercising their $6 million team option. The former closer certainly has the opportunity to make the roster out of Spring Training if he can prove to be a reliable setup man.
It’s a role the Dodgers never solidified last season and Santos’ primary competition will likely consist of Pedro Baez, Hatcher, Brandon League and Peralta.