The Los Angeles Dodgers went into this offseason with big aspirations, but to this point, they have only made minor upgrades to their pitching staff.
The theme of the Dodgers’ two free-agent acquisitions has been low-risk, high-upside, in the form of signing Blake Treinen and Jimmy Nelson to one-year contracts with incentives built-in.
Both Treinen and Nelson have pitched at an All-Star level in their respective careers but are coming off poor years due to injury. It was recently reported that the Dodgers could make another similar signing with Danny Salazar as a potential target.
It appears that they have made indeed another low-risk signing, although it is not Salazar. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are bringing back a familiar face in Alex Wood on a one-year deal:
Alex Wood’s deal with the #Dodgers is for one year, $4M, with incentives that can push his total to $10M, source says. Physical is complete. Deal is done.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 13, 2020
Fans are obviously very familiar with Wood as he pitched in L.A. for parts of four seasons from 2015-18, with his best year coming in 2017 when he was a National League All-Star. They traded him to the Cincinnati Reds along with Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Kyle Farmer last winter, but he missed most of 2019 due to injury.
Wood began the season on the injured list and did not make his season debut until the end of July, only making seven starts for Cincinnati. The southpaw went 1-3 with a 5.80 ERA, 6.38 FIP and 1.40 WHIP with 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 35.2 innings.
One positive is that he finished the season healthy though after dealing with a back injury for more than half the year.
Similar to Nelson, the Dodgers will likely give Wood an opportunity to win a spot in the starting rotation during Spring Training, and the fallback would be a place in the bullpen.
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