The Los Angeles Dodgers made minor tweaks in their bullpen during the offseason with the signings of Joe Blanton and Louis Coleman. Blanton was added as a long reliever, while Coleman beat out Louis Avilan for the final spot in the bullpen.
Los Angeles also signed Jamey Wright to a Minor League deal, though the veteran right-hander wasn’t going to make the Opening Day roster, and elected to retire after pitching for 10 teams over 19 seasons.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has pointed to experience gained by young relievers last season and the expectation for improvement as reason to be optimistic for a bullpen that statistics suggest was unlucky on several occasions last season.
Nonetheless, Friedman is certainly well aware of how volatile a group of relievers can be over the course of 162 games. And with that, the Dodgers reportedly added to their organizational depth by signing Dale Thayer, per Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors:
Dale Thayer has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers.
— timdierkes (@timdierkes) April 2, 2016
Thayer was a staple in the San Diego Padres’ bullpen from 2012-2014. It was there he established a name for himself, posting to a 2.34 ERA, 3.85 FIP and 1.06 WHIP during the 2014 season.
However, the 35 year old struggled last season and was outrighted off the Padres 40-man roster in August. Thayer elected free agency after the season and signed with the Baltimore Orioles on a Minor League contract that included an invitation to Spring Training.
Thayer opted out of the deal and became a free agent once again. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native reunites with Friedman, as the two were with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 and 2010.