The Los Angeles Dodgers and free agent reliever J.P. Howell have been negotiating a deal for what seems like the past few weeks, with Howell wanting a three-year deal.
Based on the market for left-handed relievers, it’s likely that he would land a three-year deal either from the Dodgers or another team since Boone Logan and Javier Lopez set the market with their contracts. However, while GM Ned Colletti expressed some doubt in signing a left-handed reliever, it sounds like both sides are closing in on a deal according to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com:
Dodgers and reliever J.P. Howell closing in on a multi-year deal, according to baseball source.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 17, 2013
In his first season with the Dodgers, Howell went 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA as he served as the primary left-handed reliever when Paco Rodriguez wore down towards the end of the season. One of his biggest strengths is that Howell is able to get both lefties and righties out, as opponents hit just .193 off him, with lefties hitting just .164.
Colletti said last weekend that he wanted to add three relievers: another lefty, a right-handed middle reliever and a long reliever with Howell being the first step in his plan. If the Dodgers weren’t able to sign Howell, Onelki Garcia would’ve likely competed for a spot in the bullpen during Spring Training.
Here are the terms of the deal, which are shockingly reasonable:
The Dodgers and free-agent reliever J.P. Howell are closing in on a contract agreement for two years plus a vesting option, according to a baseball source. Howell would be guaranteed $11.25 million, with a $6.25 million salary in 2016 if he makes 120 appearances the first two seasons.
Well done Ned, well done.
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