Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reliever news - Kuo, Mahay

The Dodgers avoided arbitration with left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo yesterday, agreeing to a 1-year, $2.725 million deal, plus incentives.

Tony Jackson of ESPN LA has the details on the incentives. Kuo can earn as much as $700,000 in incentives, but most are for games-finished. If Jonathan Broxton re-gains his pre-July 2010 form, Kuo won't get a chance to cash in on the games-finished incentives.

Kuo's base salary comes in just under the median mark of $2.8125 million.

Kuo is one of the nastiest relievers in the game and at this price, he's well worth it.

The Dodgers also signed veteran LHP Ron Mahay to a minor-league deal today. Jon Heyman reported Mahay could earn $900,000 with the Dodgers.

Mahay's signing spells the end of Scott Elbert's and bid for the second lefty option out of the Dodgers' bullpen.

In 34 innings with the Minnesota Twins last season, Mahay had a 3.44 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.7 H/9, 2.1 BB/9, 6.6 K/9 and a most impressive 3.13 K/BB ratio.

While my preference would have been to see what Elbert could really do as a full-time reliever, this isn't a bad deal -- especially on a minor-league contract. Mahay is a true LOOGY, holding left-handed hitters to a career .232 batting average and .689 OPS.

Mahay is almost a lock to make the Dodgers' 'pen, which leaves the aforementioned Elbert, Ramon Troncoso and Blake Hawksworth on the proverbial roster bubble.

Elbert and Tronocoso have options while Hawksworth is out of options. The Dodgers could try to slip Hawksworth through waivers before the start of the season, but I'm sure there's some team out there that would take a chance on him. He might not throw a pitch in Dodger Blue after being acquired for Ryan Theriot.

Some would say Belisario could be on the bubble, but in my last post, I thought he'd perform well enough to earn a spot in the 'pen.

No matter what, if the pitchers pitch to their capabilities, the Dodgers should boast one of the game's best bullpens in 2011.


Lastings Milledge also signed a minor-league deal today with the Chicago White Sox. Milledge, who had been mentioned in the Dodgers' search for a left fielder, will get $500,000 if he makes the team with no incentives, as reported by Ken Rosenthal.

Milledge on a minor-league deal would have been a lot better than the trio affectionately known as "JaMarcus Gwybbons, Jr.," coined by Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness.

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