On Tuesday, Los Angeles Dodgers managers Dave Roberts classified the club’s approach in free agency this winter as being more aggressive when compared to prior years. Though, Roberts also cautioned it was not a guarantee that would lead to signings.
His remarks came one day after Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals kicked off the Winter Meetings with what was a record-breaking seven-year contract. Hours after Roberts’ comments, Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees set new records with a nine-year deal.
In addition to being linked to Cole, Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rendon and Strasburg, the Dodgers were searching the free agent market for relief pitchers. They reportedly had interest in Kevin Gausman, who signed with the rival San Francisco Giants.
Less than a week ago the Dodgers were additionally connected to Blake Treinen, who agreed to a one-year contract with the team, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Right-hander Blake Treinen is in agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year, $10 million deal, sources tell ESPN. Treinen had multiple offers in that range and chose the Dodgers.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2019
Treinen was an All-Star for the Oakland Athletics in 2018 when he went 9-2 with a career-best 0.78 ERA and 38 saves. He finished sixth in American League Cy Young Award voting and appeared on the final MVP ballot as well.
This past season was the complete opposite for the 31-year-old. Treinen appeared in 57 games but only recorded 16 saves, was 6-5 and sported a career-worst 4.91 ERA. He additionally had a 1.62 WHIP and walked nearly six batters per nine innings. As a result the Athletics non-tendered him and Treinen immediately became a free agent.
The signing is the type of deal the Dodgers have succeeded with in the past. Treinen isn’t far removed from being an elite reliever, and a return to that level — or close to it — would be a boon for the Dodgers.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reiterated Kenley Jansen remains the team’s closer, but he acknowledged the Dodgers were mindful of finding a late-inning reliever this offseason.
L.A. was just added to the list of teams with reported interest in Dellin Betances, who like Treinen is looking to restore his reputation. Betances was limited to just one appearance in 2019 because of right shoulder trouble and a partially torn Achilles.
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