Heading into the offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ needs were quite apparent. Among them was addressing a bullpen that faltered throughout the year and subsequently wasn’t trusted in the postseason.
After claiming infielder Ryan Jackson, who was later traded to the Kansas City Royals, and acquiring outfielder Kyle Jansen, Andrew Friedman’s went to work on the bullpen by trading for Adam Liberatore and Joel Peralta of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Peralta is a reliever who figures to have an impact next season, whereas Liberatore may get more time in the Minors. With more bullpen help needed, the Dodgers were said to be interested in Andrew Miller, but in the end refused to sign him to a four-year deal; they reportedly also were unwilling to meet Zach Duke’s asking price.
Other free agent options remained available and among them was Pat Neshek. The right-hander signed a two-year, $12.5 million and interestingly said he turned down more money with the Dodgers, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle:
It was the Dodgers, Pat Neshek said, that actually offered him the most money, although that’s before state income tax consideration.
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) December 10, 2014
With the Dodgers reportedly leery of handing out large contracts to relievers due to the recent bad luck they’ve had, Neshek fit the mold of someone they may look to add — low-risk with a high reward. Sergio Romo is another name they’ve been tied to, but the market for him may drive the price up.
However, their need may no longer be what it once was. In their trade with the Miami Marlins, the Dodgers acquired Chris Hatcher among others, and Friedman indicated he’s someone they see contributing next season. Assuming it may not be Liberatore, the Dodgers at this point would benefit most from adding a southpaw to the bullpen to help shoulder the load with J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez.