By trading for Logan Forsythe on Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers no longer have a need among their position players. Considering Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner were previously re-signed, the club has enjoyed a successful offseason.
But that’s not to say the Dodgers don’t have remaining holes, however minor they may be. Even with Jansen returning, the bullpen is an area that needs to be addressed. Joe Blanton and J.P. Howell remain free agents, and Yimi Garcia is expected to miss the entire 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The Dodgers have been connected to Blanton, among others, as an option to round out their bullpen. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Los Angeles has their sights on Jerry Blevins and continued interest in Blanton:
#Dodgers’ next move will be reliever. Blanton, Blevins on radar unless better value emerges, per sources. LAD likely to offer only one year.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2017
Blevins appeared in a career-high 73 games with the New York Mets last season, going 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA, 3.05 FIP and 1.21 WHIP, while averaging career-bests 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 29.2 strikeout rate.
The Dodgers already have left-handers Luis Avilan, Grant Dayton, Adam Liberatore, Vidal Nuno and potentially Alex Wood in the fold, which makes their reported interest in Blevins all the more intriguing. Of note, Dayton, Liberatore and Nuno all have options remaining.
Blanton emerged as a dependable set-up man for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts last season, which was his first as a full-time reliever. Blanton finished the year 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA, 3.33 FIP and 1.01 WHIP in 75 appearances, and posted an ERA under 2.10 in four of six months.
Poorly-located sliders in the National League Championship Series put a damper on Blanton’s otherwise stellar season, as he allowed seven runs on seven hits, including three home runs, in just three innings pitched.
Prior to that, the right-hander went 1-0 and fired five shutout innings with five strikeouts in four appearances during the NL Division Series.