UPDATE (Nov. 5, 10:15 a.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Thursday left-handed relief pitcher J.P. Howell exercised his $6.25 million player option and will return with the club for the 2016 season.
Heading into the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers had Brett Anderson, Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins becoming outright free agents the morning after the World Series concluded.
Additionally, the Dodgers had or have multiple players — namely Zack Greinke — with options on their respective contracts. To no surprise, Greinke officially opted out Wednesday of the remaining three years and $71 million on his contract.
Like Greinke, relief pitcher J.P. Howell also had a player on his deal, though only for next season. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Howell exercised his $6.25 million option and will return with the Dodgers in 2016:
Reliever J.P. Howell is exercising his 2016 player option with the Dodgers, for $6.25 million.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 5, 2015
Howell earned $4 million in 2015, which was the second season of a two-year, $11 million contract. His 2016 option transitioned from a mutual option to a player one by virtue of Howell meeting the necessary 120 games combined over the last two seasons.
At 32 years old, Howell elected to spend another season with the Dodgers rather than pursue a multiyear contract, either in Los Angeles or with a different team.
Howell made 65 appearances this season and managed to avoid the fatigue that plagued him down the stretch of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He finished with a career-best 1.43 ERA, had a 1.39 WHIP and tallied 39 strikeouts to 14 walks over 44 innings.
The Dodgers hold club options on Bronson Arroyo, Joel Peralta and Chase Utley.