Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Dodgers should seriously entertain re-signing Brandon League

When the Dodgers traded for Brandon League, I wasn't impressed. League came from Seattle as about as mediocre as one could be. Yet, his performance as a Dodger was surprising and actually, good.

League pitched so well with the Dodgers that I wouldn't mind him being re-signed.

The Dodgers traded Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom to get League, which I wasn't happy about at the time. In hindsight, it wasn't as bad as expected, but I'm still not a fan of trading for veteran relievers midsesason.

League's Dodger career started off shaky as he allowed six runs in his first five innings. But after bullpen coach Ken Howell corrected a mechanical flaw, League was filthy. In 22 1/3 innings, League had a 0.40 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, .114 BAA and averaged nearly a strikeout per inning.

League made $5 million this season and he should easily be able to get that on the open market. The question is: will the Dodgers -- more specifically, Ned Colletti -- give it to him?

All signs point to "yes." From the L.A. Times:
"Colletti wants to re-sign the Dodgers relievers who will be free agents: closer Brandon League, right-hander Jamey Wright and left-hander Randy Choate."
League and Choate, yes. Wright, no. But we'll get to that in another post.

So, it seems the Dodgers have interest in bringing him back. And League has interest in returning.
"'This is definitely somewhere I'd like to play, but it's not up to me. We'll see what happens.'"
With Kenley Jansen set to undergo heart surgery soon, there's no iron-clad guarantee he'll be back for 2013. I mean, it is heart surgery after all (but most expect him to be just fine). Having a guy like League could be beneficial.

Make no mistake: Jansen is the Dodgers' closer if he's healthy. But League could be an important cog as a setup man. His mid-90s fastball and the ability to get groundballs (59.5 percent for his career) is a good combination.

Knowing Colletti, he'll give League a 3-year deal (if Matt Guerrier got it, why not League?). I'd be more OK with League getting the deal, but I wouldn't be signing Colletti's praises, either.

With Josh Lindblom in Philadelphia and Javy Guerra an inconsistent option in the late innings, re-signing League might be near the top of the winter "To Do" list.

Like League said above: We'll see what happens.

Photo credit: swswigart, Flickr

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