The Los Angeles Dodgers traded for pitcher Brandon League last July and were lucky enough to re-sign him this off-season to a three-year, $22.5 million deal. Now, the Dodgers believe they have found their closer for the future.
League took over as the closer last season when Kenley Jansen missed almost a month of baseball towards the end of the season with an irregular heartbeat. Over that time, the 29-year-old recorded six saves in six opportunities and gave Los Angeles a boost of energy.
The Dodgers believe his overwhelming power makes for the perfect closer but the fact that he can sometimes be wild is also a concern. League handled the closing duties well with the Dodgers but blew six saves in 15 chances with the Seattle Mariners in the first half of last season.
When Los Angeles decided to hand over $7.5 million per season to League they definitely knew there was a good possibility he was going to be the closer. However, just because he has been officially given the role it does not mean he will keep it if his performance begins to go south like it has in years past. Jansen will be prepared to take over the job if the Dodgers need him to, which means League will have to be on his toes in 2013. With League closing games Jansen will most likely pitch in the eighth inning, which gives the Dodgers one of the best setup relievers in the National League.
League posted a 2-1 record with a 2.30 earned run average, 27 strikeouts, six saves and two holds in 28 appearances with Los Angeles last season.