UPDATE (Jan. 8, 12:50 p.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Thursday they signed Sergio Santos to a Minor League contract with an invitation to big-league camp:
The Dodgers have signed RHP Sergio Santos to a minor-league contract with an invite to big-league camp.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 8, 2015
As part of the efforts to build an organization with depth that extends beyond the 40-man roster, Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi have made a handful of moves that extend beyond the Dodgers’ active roster.
Their next may be in signing reliever Sergio Santos to a Minor-League deal. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca was first to report on Monday that Santos was nearing an agreement with an NL West team:
Source: RHP Sergio Santos nearing deal with an NL West team. Expected to be minor league deal with incentives.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 29, 2014
Nearly two hours later, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times revealed the Dodgers as the team Santos is close to signing with:
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 29, 2014
Santos began last season as the Toronto Blue Jays’ closer with Casey Janssen unavailable, but he struggled and subsequently lost the job. The right-hander 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.
The 31 year old was selected No. 27 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002 as a shortstop prospect. After converting to a pitcher, Santos debuted with the Chicago White Sox in 2010 and had his best season the following year.
During the 2011 season, Santos earned 30 saves, though also had a 3.55 ERA and six blown saves. Santos became a free agent this offseason after the Blue Jays elected to pay the $750,000 buyout in his contract rather than exercising a $6 million team option.
Thus far in the offseason, the Dodgers added Mike Bolsinger, Chris Hatcher, and Juan Nicasio as pitchers who may play a role in improving the bullpen. Should Santos earn a spot on the Dodgers roster, they would need to clear room on the 40-man roster.