Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers roster largely appears set but the team has been linked to multiple possibilities over recent weeks, including reported interest in Robert Stephenson and Josh Hader.
Potentially adding to their bullpen is more of a luxury than necessity, but Hader and Stephenson are no longer options for the Dodgers.
The Houston Astros came to terms with Hader, who was the best relief pitcher available in free agency, on a five-year contract worth $95 million. Hader’s contract with the Astros doesn’t include any deferred money and thus is the largest ever given to a relief pitcher in terms of present day value.
Hader’s signing was expected to unlock what’s been a frozen market, and that’s led to Stephenson coming off the board as well.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Stephenson is signing a three-year contract with the Angels and his deal includes an option for 2027:
Stephenson gets 3 years plus option https://t.co/tKyqXxvFBq
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 20, 2024
In addition to the Dodgers, the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies were among the teams connected to Stephenson.
The right-hander went a combined 3-4 with a 3.10 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 0.88 WHIP and 38.3% strikeout rate across 60 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays last season. Stephenson set career-best marks in ERA, WHIP, strikeout percentage, games and opponents’ batting average (.162), among other statistics.
Robert Stephenson improved after trade
Stephenson experienced right arm discomfort during Spring Training and began the 2023 season on the 15-day injured list. Thus, he made just 18 appearances for the Pirates prior to being traded.
Upon joining the Rays, Stephenson had improved results and put himself in position to sign a multi-year contract during free agency.
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