It hasn’t been for lack of trying that the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t acquired a great reliever to pair up with Kenley Jansen this offseason. They certainly made a run at Aroldis Chapman, but ultimately decided that his legal issues were not worth the headache.

They then opted to take a cheap route, signing Joe Blanton to a one-year deal worth $4 million. Whether you want to call Blanton a difference maker is up to you, but he certainly performed well out of the bullpen last season.

None of that means the Dodgers are set in their bullpen, though. They still need some help, and they’re still right-hand dominant there, with Luis Avilan and J.P. Howell being the only left-hand options out of the pen.


ICYMI: Dodgers Have Taken ‘A Step Back’, per Boston Globe


Still, the Dodgers could use some additional help, unless they plan on using starters such as Alex Wood or Hyin-jin Ryu out of bullpen at times this year.

From John Perrotto of Today’s Knuckleball dot com:

Los Angeles Dodgers — The roster is pretty well set but they could use some bullpen depth. Tommy Hunter, Bobby Parnell and Burke Badenhop could all provide potential help in middle relief.

The interesting thing is that all three relievers suggested are right-handers.

Badenhop had a 3.93 ERA in 66.1 innings for the Cincinnati Reds last year, while striking out only 36 batters and walking 20. He’s predominantly a groundball pitcher, but didn’t get an adequate number of them last year, which is partially why he struggled.

Ralph Freso-AP Photo

Ralph Freso-AP Photo

Meanwhile, Hunter spent time with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs last year. He compiled a 4.18 ERA and struck out 47 batters in 60.1 innings. But Hunter was better in 2013 and 2014, where he had a 2.88 ERA in 147 innings over those two seasons, as well as 113 strikeouts and only 26 walks.

Lastly, Parnell has spent his entire career with the New York Mets, and he finished 2015 with a 6.38 ERA in only 24 innings. He struggled, walking 17 batters and striking out only 13. However, during a four year stretch from 2010 to 2013, Parnell had a 2.79 ERA and fanned 202 batters in 213 innings. He would be an interesting reclamation project.

They’re all very intriguing options on several fronts, but do any of them move the needle at all? I guess we’ll find that out if the Dodgers sign any of them.

The Real ‘Best Fans In Baseball’ Are In Los Angeles

About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

59 Responses

  1. ChrisTerrell

    No, I think we have a handful of options for the final bullpen spots on the 40 man or in the minors that are better than any of these guys.

    Reply
  2. PhilWheeler

    Pedro, Fernando and Orel started in the bullpen, became great starting pitchers. i wish we had a awesome lefthander we could bring up from the minors to work his way into a great starter.

    Reply
  3. Which Hunt

    Beachy and Montas could be difference makers out of the pen.

    Reply
  4. AlwaysCompete

    Unless the Dodgers can somehow maneuver some of their surplus pitching and surplus OF into a Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger or someone similar, it makes more sense to let the plethora of ML ready pitchers try to earn a spot.  I think Montas gets a real shot at trying to be a starter, but he could be what the Dodgers need for the 8th inning.  Liberatore, Cotton, Stripling, Beachy, and C Anderson could fill any bullpen needs better than Tommy Hunter, Bobby Parnell, or Burke Badenhop.  Liberatore could be that lefty they desire.  Rhame and Sborz are a couple years out.  There is no reason to continue to stockpile borderline pitching to block what could be productive bullpen members.

    Reply
  5. Jagman63

    More bums for the team to sign?? Are you crazy??? They could have had Chapman. they passed on Bastardo, instead signing Bum Blanton. Who’s running this tea?? Monkeys from the LA Zoo??? Tyler Clippard is still out there. But no. You say they are looking at those three bums in your article. Wow. What a way to run a team.

    Reply
  6. Michael Norris

    Point of order there bud. There are 4 lefty’s in the Dodger pen…..You forgot Liberatore and Thomas. And if anything they need infielders.

    Reply
  7. Michael Norris

    Which Hunt  Beachy is a starter..if he is back from his surgery, that is his best place

    Reply
  8. Robert Hamilton

    AlwaysCompete I’m with AC. Why pay some more old one or two good years in in their career bumbs. Why not look in your local Tavern. I too believe in giving your own a chance. Our young prospects will have gray beards by time they get a real shot. Or this FO will trade them and be embarrassed again, like in the case of D Gordon. Come on Freidman, man up.

    Reply
  9. Robert Hamilton

    I can remember when you first tested a pitcher by letting him start first. Now it has been the reverse, which I don’t mind. Bring our studs up and give them an inning or two out of the bullpen. In that case like with Urias you won’t  worry about over working his young arm. They can also see if Montas’s strong arm is effective in short relief. If so, they can still try him as a starter. Stop putting prospects in a box or we will never find ones full potential.

    Reply
  10. Michael Norris

    Robert Hamilton  AlwaysCompete  If you look at the roster as it now stands, they are overloaded with pitchers and outfielders. And if you look at the top 30 prospects list you will see that most of their top prospects are pitchers. They can trade from their strengths to fix their weakness’s which right now is infield depth. Guys like Lee, Stripling, Frias, are not going to pass Deleon and Urias, or even Holmes. They have 5 infielders listed on the roster right now, 6 if you take Kike off the OF list. No backup SS. Micah Johnson will no doubt be given a lot of time at 2B in the spring. So Kike and Utley will play 3rd until Turner is fully ready. But I would not like to see them trade young pitchers for retreads. Fried Brains signs enough of them as it is, and at times last year this team looked like Tampa Bay West.

    Reply
  11. Robert Hamilton

    Michael Norris Robert Hamilton  AlwaysCompete Mike i’ve never seen a GM do as much business with his ex team. You would think that Miami was a power house  loaded with talent. I don’t think that he’ll solve our infield depth problem by dealing with Miami. He has done them a favor by clearing their system of aging retreads. He should be reminded that there are other teams that just might want to make a deal and are wiling to give us something we need and improving themselves with some of our surplus talent. I’m still waiting for a move that we can say that really benefited us.

    Reply
  12. TonyCox2

    Blanton was one of the best bullpen pitchers last year, and his numbers back that up.

    Reply
  13. Michael Norris

    TonyCox2  It means nothing..he has one good season out of the bullpen, and that makes him a savior..he is a retread, and a long man….from all reports most people are worried about the back end of the BP not the long man, what his signing does mean is that Bolsinger and possibly Wood are out of the picture, it also means that most likely Frias will be in AAA this year…..Blanton was a bust his last time in LA, if he succeeds as a mop up man, fine. But it is not a great signing….

    Reply
  14. AlwaysCompete

    Michael Norris TonyCox2  Michael, that is exactly how I feel about the Blanton signing.  He had 31 innings of good (okay – very good) relief with the Pirates.  31 innings!!!  Ray Searage found his slider, and Blanton became another Searage reclamation project.  He is a $4M long reliever.  I know the Dodgers have $$$, but $4M on a long reliever, when there were others available?  I wonder if J.A. Happ, Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, Joe Blanton and the other Searage reclamation projects are giving Searage any percentage of their renewed contracts?  Since Volquez and Blanton were both horrible Dodger pitchers, I wonder what Searage sees that Honeycutt obviously cannot.

    Reply
  15. ChrisTerrell

    I coached professional basketball overseas for a decade and on a few of those teams I was charged with assembling the roster. It doesn’t make me an expert MLB GM but I’ll draw one correlation in sports in general; its a competition. You get as many talented people as possible and you have them compete against one another and against other teams and the cream rises to the top. The Dodgers won’t keep someone in a certain role if another player is outperforming him or gives the club a better chance to succeed. The salary is what was negotiated based on part ability, track record, etc, but once they’re all on the same field together – everyone is watching every pitch and evaluating who gives them the best chance to win and in what position and at what level. Could Blanton have a 1.50 ERA and whiff 38 batters in 39 innings and hold righties to a .194 batting average we’ll probably see him in the 7th or 8th. If he stinks then he can be dumped for a team that has a starter go down in the spring. And everything in between. Let’s let it play out. They’ll have a couple months once the spring starts to evaluate if this most recent success was an aberration but on it’s face, that 2015 season is worth that salary IMO but we’ll see what happens.

    Reply
  16. Michael Norris

    AlwaysCompete Michael Norris TonyCox2  Honeycutt’s staff’s have been near the top in ERA for most of his tenure as pitching coach. So I doubt his philosophy is much different from Serage. Blanton as a starter had a totally different routine than Blanton the reliever. Since he threw so few innings, hitters did not see him as much, and probably for 1 at bat. As a starter they are going to get a few more shots at you. But to me it is too small of a sample to pay the guy 4 million. Honey was a sinkerball guy when he pitched, and I am not sure how he felt about sliders. But if a pitcher can control the pitch it is very effective..CK has a killer slider.

    Reply
  17. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  They signed him to be the long man….And a guy who had 3 bad years in a row as a starter, and was out of the game totally is unlikely to be dumped on anybody.

    Reply
  18. TonyCox2

    You look at the number of innings pitched, and the number of appearances, and you quickly realize he is not being groomed as a long reliever, but a situational guy like last year. The best closer in Dodgers history was a failed starter, so don’t live on the past starter numbers, but the very recent reliever numbers.

    Reply
  19. Michael Norris

    TonyCox2  The best closer in Dodger history was not coming off a year of retirement, and 4 years as a bum… Gagne was young, and although he had a killer fastball, had no real secondary pitches. I personally think this is too small of a sample for the guy to get that kind of money. So he had 31 great innings in 4 years..whoopee……I am not excited about the sign, I think it is another example of Fried brains moronic way to stock retreads.

    Reply
  20. TonyCox2

    Michael Norris TonyCox2 Yet, HE is the brains that has the job, while you play armchair GM. Why not cut the guy some slack? Maybe his orders came from the guys writing the checks? Maybe the scouts see more than you ever will?

    Reply
  21. TonyCox2

    Michael Norris AlwaysCompete TonyCox2 Btw, $4 million in today’s market is a pittance.

    Reply
  22. Michael Norris

    TonyCox2 Michael Norris  I base my opinion, which is all it is by the way on his career numbers, and I have probably in my lifetime watched a lot more Dodger games than you. I do not like Friedman, I think he takes way too much stock in retreads instead of getting the best available players. He has a rotating door theory, which to many is baffling. How many of the guys he claimed on waivers just before the end of the year are still with the team? answer….ZERO. I have never claimed to be an armchair GM. And I doubt the so called guys writing the checks are calling all the player personnel decisions. They have 7 former GM’s in that front office. Pretty sure the owners are money guys and not baseball genius’s like Fried brains has been called. I think he bases way to much on his saber metrics, and way too little on proven talent. The city is starving for a World Series, and IMHO, he is doing it the wrong way..we agree to disagree…..and as for cutting slack…..no way…

    Reply
  23. Michael Norris

    TonyCox2 Michael Norris AlwaysCompete  For this clown it is over payment…..

    Reply
  24. Michael Norris

    TonyCox2 Michael Norris AlwaysCompete  IMHO…..

    Reply
  25. Jagman63

    TonyCox2 Michael Norris  A few good innings one season and all the Friedman and co. groupies act like Blanton is the next coming of Mariano Rivera. A bum is a bum. Buy cheap, get cheap. You will see.

    Reply
  26. ChrisTerrell

    I think you’re underestimating the market. A 2 era out of the pen with starters experience is wanted by every team in MLB. Every one of them. Maybe some teams would rather spend 2.5-3m instead of 4m. I’d assume he took one of the higher bids but could we make it go away for under 1m and the 58th prospect in the organization and get back their 100th prospect…. All day. So what are we talking about here really? 1/300th of their payroll??

    Reply
  27. ChrisTerrell

    And by bad years do you mean the 4 ERA that half the teams in baseball have as their 4th and 5th starters? And half of those lose a starter early. None of this matters anyway if he does close to what he did last year were thrilled.

    Reply
  28. ChrisTerrell

    Ok on January 25th 2016 Jagman63 states the guy with the sub 2 ERA this past season on a good team in a pennant race is “A bum is a bum. Buy cheap, get cheap. You will see.” Got it. Hope no one judges you on your job performance with those kind words. Our favorite team the Dodgers. Check back in 6 months Michael Norris, tony Cox, and Jagman. If you’re wrong will you go tell Blanton you’re sorry for calling him a bum? Will you admit you were way too heavy handed on here at least? How about someone is the bum, you or Blanton and we can vote which in 120 days??

    Reply
  29. Jagman63

    ChrisTerrell  Since you are calling several of us out, how bot I call you out? When Blanton shows what a bum he is in 120 days, will you be publically eat your words and apologize??? Probably not………

    Reply
  30. ChrisTerrell

    Yes good offer. In 120 days either you say that you are a bum fan and completely lack the knowledge needed to evaluate talent or I will. Let’s set the over and under at a 3.50 ERA. That’s Ryu level effectiveness? Deal?

    Reply
  31. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  Hey, if I am wrong, I always admit it. I IMHO think it is not a great signing. I have been wrong and that is not a bad thing. But sometimes I am right. I do not gloat when I am. 6 months from now a lot of people will be eating crow one way or another. You have your opinion of what the FO is doing and we respect that. We also reserve the right to our own opinions. I am sure as a former coach, you understand that not every decision made by the people in power works out, and I pretty much do not trust a bunch of guys, who at the trading deadline last year sat on their proverbial thumbs and did little to IMPROVE a team that was () this close to being a Championship team. Blanton had less than 40 innings last year. That is not a big enough sample of him being good for me to consider him anything more than a relatively low cost fix….and is he the answer? Who knows, but there were far better options out there way back during the winter meetings. There still are, but these guys go after fringe players. This is LA, not Tampa. 27 years without a trip to the big dance. Fans are restless and fed up, with no TV, no championships, and stop gap measures. I am pretty sure you are a smart guy…do not underestimate those who have watched this team for over 60 years like I have. I know my stuff…..I love the team and the game, but I do not have to agree with everything they do……..

    Reply
  32. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  Sorry Chris, you cannot match a starters ERA against a reliever. Starters see a hitter more often than relievers……..how about matching him against someone like Howell…..since they both do the same job…Howell was at 1.43

    Reply
  33. ChrisTerrell

    I agree with much, but not all of what you just said. And that’s cool. We’re not twins and the forum is best when there is an exchange of thoughts about a team we all hope does well isn’t us all mimicking each other’s views. Take the bet Mike. Yes, I think your view has value. I wouldn’t reply to a moron and waste the typing. So o/u at 3.50 deal?

    Reply
  34. ChrisTerrell

    Loser is a Dodger bum for a day. Hey we’ve been called bums affectionately as a team before, right? 🙂

    Reply
  35. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  Cannot match him with a starter…..against a reliever yes….Howell was at 1.43, but I think that is asking way too much , lets go with Baez and his 3.35

    Reply
  36. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  They were affectionately the Bums in Brooklyn……that really never stuck in LA>

    Reply
  37. Michael Norris

    IMHO I never thought Blanton would get this much chatter on a blog……LOL

    Reply
  38. Jagman63

    ChrisTerrell  I think the All-Star break should be the deadline. But if you don’t agree with that. I will agree to your deadline. Deal.

    Reply
  39. Michael Norris

    Never thought Blanton would get this much chatter…..shows what I know….LOL

    Reply
  40. ChrisTerrell

    Now how about a switch hitting SS/3B? Righty to help Seager (Kike?) maybe a lefty to help Turner (Utley?). Johnson? Not a lot of depth there in the minors. I sense a move coming for another option in AAA.

    Reply
  41. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  They definitely need to have someone to backup Seager. Right now that would be Turner. He has the most experience at the position, and Utley could cover 3rd. I think they might be waiting to see what they get out of Johnson in spring. If he were to take the starting job in a platoon with Utley, then Kike could go back to being a super sub. Arruebarrena is pretty much the only option in the minors, and he cannot hit. They have no spot for Guererro, and he is a liability with the leather. So I see a possible trade to pick someone up…

    Reply
  42. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  They should never have traded Peraza. The Olivera trade to the Braves seems pretty dumb right about now…..

    Reply
  43. ChrisTerrell

    Agreed. Kike was good at short and mashes LHP. I’d love to see him be an everyday starter. He plays hard and very positive winning influence on the team. Utley is tough as nails, gritty, and a gamer. I can see why they didn’t want to commit to the years and then thereby not get the pick for Kendrick.

    Reply
  44. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  I just checked, right now there is NO SS on the OKC roster. Arruebarrena is on the Tulsa roster. I forgot they had signed Culberson from the Rockies, and Elian Herrera. I think both of those are just depth in the minors. Kike is great against lefty’s not so much vs the RHP

    Reply
  45. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  They are big on stockpiling draft picks, which I understand, but the guy they picked #1 last year Buhler, is not even going to pitch until 2017.

    Reply
  46. ChrisTerrell

    Let’s put the do what it takes of Utley, the heart of Kike, the stick of Guerrero, and the glove of Arruebuena and put into one player and trade him and 5 starters for Robbie Cano! :))))

    Reply
  47. Michael Norris

    ChrisTerrell  I would love to see Cano in LA> But with all the talk of lowering payroll, and him being owed a ton of money, I doubt they would even consider the guy…but he would solve a lot of problems with on fell swoop

    Reply
  48. ChrisTerrell

    It would take a Fernandez package. Will never happen. But I think Kike is a .300 hitter with speed and a glove if he gets everyday at bats against both arms.

    Reply
  49. ChrisTerrell

    OBP wise, he’s .350 IMO and that’s what matters not how many of those were singled and how many were walks…. He gets on and can run.

    Reply
  50. ChrisTerrell

    The single could drive in the guy from 2nd but the guy with speed isn’t an RBI guy anyway. Besides, high OBA means he’s seeing a bunch of pitches that others behind him can observe and be more prepared for. And it gets the starter out earlier and into the weakest part of opposing pens.

    Reply
  51. ChrisTerrell

    That’s why they do the metrics. Theyre able to look over the course of the entire season

    Reply
  52. ChrisTerrell

    These computer programs are amazing these days you’re able to take one guy out of line up an insert another one and then play 162 games by clicking a button

    Reply
  53. ChrisTerrell

    Remember all those championships Yankees won in the 90s?

    Reply
  54. Jagman63

    mbkofla  That’s what I have been saying for two months now!! But the egg heads in charge are too locked into their self-delusions of grandeur to do such a sensible thing.

    Reply

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