The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the process of putting together their bullpen as they’re closing in on a deal with reliever Brian Wilson. Terms of the deal are unknown, but it’s been reported that he could be signing a one-year deal in an effort to regain his value as a closer on the open market.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers non-tendered Ronald Belisario making him a free agent last night. The 30-year-old reliever proved too inconsistent for the Dodgers to keep as they’ll look to find middle relief elsewhere. Another Dodgers free agent reliever, J.P. Howell, is currently in talks to return via Jerry Crasnick and Mark Saxson of ESPN.com:
The Dodgers also are believed to be in talks to re-sign J.P. Howell, who was the team’s primary left-handed reliever by the end of the season.
Howell signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers last winter and towards the end of the year became the first lefty out of the bullpen with Paco Rodriguez wearing down. In 65 appearances, the 30-year-old went 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA and held left-handed hitters to a .164 average. While he doesn’t strike many people out, he proved effective with a runners on base, holding hitters to a .192 average.
It was reported that Howell is seeking a three-year deal and his preference is to remain with the Dodgers. After balking at offering a three-year deal to newly signed Angels reliever Joe Smith, it’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers give one to Howell. Other teams that could be interested in Howell’s services include the Washington Nationals or Detroit Tigers as they’re searching for more bullpen help.
If the Dodgers can’t re-sign him, lefties Boone Logan and Mike Gonzalez could be potential targets as GM Ned Colletti and company will decide whether or not to meet Howell’s asking price.
ICYMI: The Dodgers signed right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year deal last weekend