The Los Angeles Dodgers made an under-the-radar move at the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline, acquiring veteran reliever Josh Fields from the Houston Astros in exchange for prospect Yordan Alvarez.
The trade ended up being a good one, as Fields pitched well for the Dodgers down the stretch, yielding a 2.79 ERA in 22 appearances.
Fields returned to the Dodgers organization in 2017, and while expectations weren’t that high for the 31-year-old, he once again had a very productive season despite beginning the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Fields ranked fourth out of the Dodgers bullpen with 57 appearances, which was behind only Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen and Luis Avilan. In 57 innings of work, he had a 2.84 ERA, 4.18 FIP and 0.97 WHIP while striking out 60 and walking 15. He also had a perfect 5-0 record.
In four postseason appearances leading up to the World Series, Fields retired three of the four hitters he faced, allowing just one double to Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Daniel Descalso.
He did not fare as well against his former team in the World Series though, as he entered in the 10th inning of Game 2 and allowed back-to-back home runs by Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa and then a double to Yuli Gurriel before being removed from the game without recording an out.
While his end to the season wasn’t a good one, Fields was a big part of the Dodgers bullpen in 2017, providing quality innings throughout the entire season.
Fields picked up two saves in 2017, one on May 5 when he tossed 1.1 perfect innings against the San Diego Padres, striking out two to close out an 8-2 victory. The other came on Oct. 1, the team’s final game of the season when he shut out the Colorado Rockies for an inning to give the Dodgers a Los Angeles record 104 wins on the season.
Fields is eligible for salary arbitration and was recently tendered a contract by the Dodgers. If the two sides can come to an agreement, which is likely, then Fields will be back in 2018 and will play a similar role out of the bullpen that he has the last two seasons.