Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Praises Jake McGee As ‘Great Competitor And Teammate’

Former Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Jake McGee announced his retirement after 13 seasons in the big leagues, a career that began with the Tampa Bay Rays and also included time spent with the Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals.

Initially selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth round of the 2004 MLB Draft, McGee revitalized his career with the Dodgers in 2020. The left-hander was reliable for manager Dave Roberts, appearing in 24 games and pitching to a 2.66 ERA in the regular season and delivering a scoreless one-inning outing in Game 2 of the World Series.

Although he had big league stints with the Rockies from 2016-2019, Dodgers in 2020, Giants in 2021, and both the Brewers and Nationals in 2022, McGee planned to officially retire as a member of the Rays.

The now 36-year-old spent the better part of five seasons within Tampa’s Minor League system before making his MLB debut with them in 2010. McGee remained a Ray until 2016, making Tampa the longest tenure he had with one organization.

Overseeing him with both Tampa Bay and the Dodgers, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman first got to know McGee firsthand when he was the Rays’ baseball operations chief throughout the 2014 season.

Friedman recalled qualities that made McGee an effective relief pitcher and gave him credit for succeeding with one dominant pitch, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

“Jake was an incredible competitor and teammate,” said Andrew Friedman, baseball operations chief with the Rays through 2014, then with the Dodgers. “You have to be a great competitor to have the sustained success he had with only one pitch. More seriously, he had a great career and it was fun watching him dominate on the mound as he was unmoved by any big game situation.”

Despite his retirement coming after a dismal 2022 season saw a forgettable 6.81 ERA in just 37 innings of work, McGee finishes his career with a respectable lifetime ERA of 3.71 to go along with 79 saves and 613 strikeouts across 572.1 innings pitched.

In addition to his two best statistical seasons coming with the Rays in 2012 and 2014, highlighted by full-season ERAs under 2.00 for the only times in his career, 2014 saw a career-low 1.89 ERA across 73 appearances with an impressive 0.90 WHIP and .189 batting average against. McGee also holds the Tampa Bay franchise record for most games pitched at 297.

Jake McGee advised Yency Almonte to sign with Dodgers

Despite no longer being a member of the Dodgers, McGee played a part in helping Los Angeles acquire a formidable bullpen arm in Yency Almonte.

After being together within the Colorado Rockies organization from 2017-2019, McGee helped convince Almonte that the Dodgers organization could help aid the right-hander’s at the big league level after multiple lowly seasons.

Inspired by McGee’s advice, the 28-year-old Almonte signed and thrived with L.A. in 2022, delivering an impressive 1.02 ERA across 35.1 innings with a wicked 0.79 WHIP and .150 batting average against.

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