The Los Angeles Dodgers are getting more great news about their free agent players during the 2013 MLB offseason. After new broke this last weekend that the Boys in Blue would be retaining Juan Uribe and his stellar defensive skills at third base, it seemed as if General Manager Ned Colletti was making all the right moves at the right times. Then, reports surfaced Monday evening proving this suspicion to be truth:
Dodgers and reliever J.P. Howell closing in on a multi-year deal, according to baseball source. More soon on http://t.co/95Zz6Og9nb.Advertisement
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 17, 2013
More reports from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman later confirmed this rumor to be all but a done deal. Colletti’s move to bring back J.P. Howell is brilliant as the Dodgers solid 2013 bullpen relied on the 30-year-old veteran heavily. Howell had a career year, posting a 2.03 ERA in 67 games pitched while striking out 54 batters. With an equally impressive 1.048 WHIP, Howell was one of only 14 relievers to have at least 40 appearances and statistics that good or better.
One of the best parts of this deal is the terms of the contract as Colletti nabbed a veteran in his prime for a good price without giving away too many years. If Howell continues to prove himself over the next two seasons he can earn an extension and the Dodgers are getting his services at a great price in the meantime.
The Los Angeles bullpen is bolstered by this signing and any potential opponent no longer has the chance to snatch up Howell and use him against his former team. The organization continues to make moves that bring the Boys in Blue closer to another chance at a deep playoffs run in 2014. With a few more quality signings and maybe even a huge deal to land Japanese star pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, the Dodgers are well on their way to being contenders again.