UPDATE (Jan. 19, 12:45 p.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly signed Joe Blanton to a one-year contract.
Over the past few seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers’ biggest weakness has been their bullpen. The problem wasn’t completely addressed last offseason with the team’s biggest upgrades being Chris Hatcher and 39-year-old Joel Peralta.
Both threw well toward the end of the season, but also spent time on the disabled list and struggled throughout the course of it.
Los Angeles then acquired Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson, among others, in a three-team trade with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
Avilan settled in after a rough start with his new club and avoided arbitration by re-signing a one-year deal.
Johnson, however, was an unmitigated disaster as he had a 10.13 ERA in 18.2 innings with the Dodgers. He was left off the postseason roster and has since signed with the Braves.
While the free-agent market has thinned out, there are some viable options still available, and according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said adding a reliever remains possible:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 19, 2016
The Dodgers appeared to be on the verge of solidifying the backend of their bullpen with a trade for Aroldis Chapman. However, an alleged domestic violence incident halted the trade, and the electric closer was eventually sent to the New York Yankees.
Dodgers general manager later stated the club was not comfortable moving forward with their trade as details of Chapman’s domestic dispute emerged.
Los Angeles also expressed interest in veteran right-handers Darren O’Day and Ryan Madson, but struck out on both as O’Day returned to the Baltimore Orioles, and Madson signed with the Oakland Athletics.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman could look to his former club for relief, with Tampa Bay Rays relievers Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee said to have drawn interest.
Notable free-agent relievers on the market include Tyler Clippard, Tommy Hunter and Casey Janssen. The Dodgers also could attempt to address their bullpen need internally by moving either Frankie Montas and Yaisel Sierra to the bullpen.
However, indications have been the Dodgers prefer to develop both right-handers as starting pitchers.