The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signing of relief pitcher Jake McGee to a one-year contract, which coincided with Jimmy Nelson being transferred to the 45-day injured list.
With Scott Alexander’s availability for the start of the season somewhat unclear, the Dodgers may face a need for a left-handed reliever, and McGee fills that role.
McGee signed a lucrative three-year, $27 million contract to remain with the Colorado Rockies before the 2018 season. His last two years have been less-than-spectacular, leading to McGee’s release earlier this week.
The 33-year-old has had a number of quality Major League seasons, posting a 3.64 ERA in 522 career appearances. Some of his best work came with the Tampa Bay Rays, where Andrew Friedman was the general manager before coming to the Dodgers, so there is a familiarity there.
Pitching at Coors Field got the best of McGee’s the last two seasons as he yielded a 6.49 ERA in 61 appearances in 2018 and a 4.35 ERA in 45 appearances in 2019.
When looking at his 2019 season, McGee struck out 35 batters and walked 11 in 41.1 innings. He showed the ability to get lefties out as they posted a .693 on-base plus slugging percentage against him compared to 1.054 for righties.
McGee has also succeeded on the road, pitching to a 2.91 ERA compared to 5.95 at Coors Field.
This signing is one that is not surprising considering the Dodgers love taking on low-risk, high-reward projects in their bullpen. They recently did the same with A.J. Ramos, who is a former All-Star closer coming off some injuries.
If the Dodgers can make some tweaks with McGee and get him back to being the pitcher he once was, then that is yet another dominant arm added to their bullpen. If the signing doesn’t work out though, then it is only a one-year contract and he will be back in free agency this winter.
As far as Nelson goes, being transferred to the 45-day IL comes as no surprise considering he recently underwent season-ending back surgery. The Dodgers have a team option on him for the 2021, so it will be interesting to see if he can get healthy and they pick that up.
Dodgers option Lux
The Dodgers also made another roster move on Tuesday, optioning top prospect Gavin Lux, meaning he won’t be making the Opening Day roster.
While the move comes as a bit of a surprise, it will allow for Lux to have more time to get prepared for the regular season after reporting to Summer Camp late. With Lux not on the Opening Day roster, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Max Muncy should all see time at second base to begin the season.
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