When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani from the Cincinnati Reds at the non-waiver trade deadline this past season, they knew that he had the stuff to be an elite reliever but would be a bit of a project.
Cingrani saved 17 games for the Reds in 2016, but did not get off to a good start last season. Before being traded to Los Angeles, he yielded a 5.40 ERA, 7.02 FIP and 1.33 WHIP while striking out 24 and walking six in 23.1 innings over 25 appearances.
The Dodgers worked with Cingrani on pitch selection and he immediately came in a developed into one of manager Dave Roberts’ most reliable relievers.
In 22 appearances with the Dodgers, the 23-year-old pitched to a 2.79 ERA, 1.86 FIP and 1.09 WHIP. His strikeout numbers were up as he fanned 28 batters compared to six walks in 19.1 innings of work.
Cingrani went into this offseason as one of the team’s arbitration-eligible players. According to Robert Murray of FanRag Sports, the process will not be needed as Cingrani and the Dodgers agreed to a contract:
Sources: #Dodgers, Tony Cingrani settle at $2.3 million, avoiding arbitration.
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) January 12, 2018
Cingrani appeared in seven postseason games for Los Angeles, and was just as good as the regular season as he gave up three hits and a run in five innings (1.80 ERA).
This offseason marked the second in a row that Cingrani is eligible for salary arbitration. He and the Reds agreed upon a $1.825 million salary for 2017.
With the departures of fellow southpaws Tony Watson and Luis Avilan, Cingrani is expected to take on an even bigger role in the Dodgers bullpen this season.