The Los Angeles Dodgers were relatively quiet at the Winter Meetings, watching the three most prominent free agents in Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg all sign elsewhere.
L.A. wasn’t completely inactive, however, as they added an intriguing arm to the bullpen in former Oakland Athletics closer Blake Treinen. His reported one-year, $10 million contract became official on Sunday.
Treinen was non-tendered by the Athletics earlier this month following a rocky 2019 campaign. He appeared in 57 games but wasn’t nearly as effective when compared to his outstanding performance just one year prior.
Treinen sported a career-worst 4.91 ERA and only recorded 16 saves before suffering a season-ending back injury in September. His struggles amounted to a 1.62 WHIP and an average of nearly six walks per nine innings.
When speaking to reporters for the first time since signing with the Dodgers, Treinen insisted he can return to previous form and that this past season was merely an anomaly, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I’m not a broken pitcher,” said the 31-year-old right-hander. “I still have a lot left to give. I’m still an elite pitcher, and last year was an outlier.”
Prior to his rough showing in 2019, Treinen was widely considered one of the sport’s most dominant relievers. He is only one season removed from going 9-2 with a career-best 0.78 ERA and 38 saves.
Treinen was selected to his first career All-Star Game that year and finished sixth in American League Cy Young Award. He also garnered votes for MVP, finishing 15th among his peers.
If Treinen is able to bounce back and return to that level, his presence will be an asset in the backend of the Dodgers bullpen. Moreover, Treinen’s previous experience as closer gives L.A. another option to consider should Kenley Jansen’s struggles resurface at any point during the 2020 season.
With Treinen officially in the mix, the Dodgers remain on the lookout for additional bullpen help. They are said to have interest in former New York Yankees setup man Dellin Betances and recently inquired on Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader.
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