UPDATE (Jan. 19, 2:45 p.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced the signing of Joe Blanton to a one-year contract. Blanton’s addition means the Dodgers’ 40-man roster is currently full.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers rounded out their starting rotation with Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda, and have insurance in the form of Brandon Beachy, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias and a slew of prospects, the club has some question marks remaining in the bullpen.
The group includes notable holdovers Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell and Kenley Jansen, however getting to the backend of the bullpen is what’s proven difficult for Los Angeles in recent seasons.
One month away from pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated Monday acquiring a reliever was not out of the question.
The club previously pursued Darren O’Day and Ryan Madson, though to no avail, as O’Day re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles and Madson joined the Oakland Athletics.
However, the Dodgers may have found an answer in Joe Blanton, who signed a one-year, $4 million contract, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
Source: Joe Blanton, Dodgers agree to one-year, $4 million deal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2016
Blanton spent last season with the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. This marks a second go-around with the Dodgers as he was traded to the team during the 2012 season.
Though at that time, Blanton was a starting pitcher. He went 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA, 3.74 FIP and 1.42 WHIP in 10 starts for the Dodgers.
The 35 year old was primarily used as a reliever by the Royals, and exclusively out of the bullpen by the Pirates. Blanton had a 2.04 ERA, 62 strikeouts (27 percent strikeout rate) and 12 walks in 57.1 innings pitched as a reliever over 32 games.
Overall, he was 7-2 with a 2.84 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 1.12 WHIP in 36 games.