The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the quieter teams on the free-agent market so far this offseason, which is a bit of a surprise considering they have money to spend and have won seven straight division championships but a World Series Championship has eluded them.
While Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been hesitant to sign players to long-term lucrative contracts since taking over the organization’s front office, one area where he has excelled is under-the-radar signings.
He seems to be at it again as it was reported on Tuesday morning that the Dodgers inked former Milwaukee Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson to a one-year, incentive-heavy contract. Nelson is expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation in Spring Training, but likely will end up making an impact out of the bullpen.
The Dodgers are always looking for ways to bolster their bullpen, and Nelson could end up being the next Joe Blanton or Brandon Morrow. It appears he is not the only addition though as Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that L.A. has signed former Philadelphia Phillies reliever Edubray Ramos to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 7, 2020
This is another low-risk, high-reward type signing by the Dodgers, similar to that of Nelson and Blake Treinen. Ramos had a very solid season for the Phillies in 2018, pitching to a 2.32 ERA, 3.54 FIP and 1.15 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and 15 walks in 42.2 innings across 52 games.
He spent most of the 2019 season in the Minor Leagues though and struggled in his short time at the big league level. In 20 games for the Phillies, Ramos posted a 5.40 ERA, 7.68 FIP and 1.73 WHIP with 11 strikeouts and seven walks in 15 innings.
While Ramos does not throw all that hard (his average fastball came in at 91.5 MPH in 2019), he does have a high spin rate, which the Dodgers have come to value in recent years.
The 27-year-old will likely begin the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, but if he can regain his 2018 form then he should find himself pitching in the big leagues for the Dodgers at some point during the 2020 season.
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