Brandon League has the largest contract ever for a Dodgers relief pitcher

Greg Fiume

The closer has the largest contract ever given a Dodgers reliever in total value, and could earn up to $33.5 million over four years.

Contract details for Brandon League's three-year, $22.5 million deal have emerged, thanks to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. If League hits all his incentives, he could make as much as $33.5 million over four years.

At a minimum of $22.5 million, League has the largest contract ever given a Dodgers reliever in total value, surpassing the two-year, $19 million deal Eric Gagne signed before the 2005 season. Gagne's contract is the only reliever deal in Dodgers history with a higher annual value than League.

Here is the payout schedule:

  • $3 million signing bonus ($1 million paid up front, $2 million in 2015)
  • 2013: $4.5 million salary
  • 2014: $7.5 million salary
  • 2015: $7.5 million salary (plus $2 million of signing bonus)
  • 2016: player option, if League finishes 55 games in 2015

The 2016 player option can vary in value:

  • $7.5 million, if he finishes 55 games in 2015
  • $8.5 million, if he finishes 55 games in 2015 and finishes 100 games in 2014-2015
  • $9 million, if he finishes 55 games in 2015 and finishes 150 games in 2014-2015

League can also earn up to $500,000 annually in contract incentives for 55-65 games finished. He finished 60 games for the Mariners in 2011, his only full season as closer. He finished 39 games in 2012, including 15 with the Dodgers and 13 games in September.

With League's $4.5 million salary next year plus a third of his signing bonus, the Dodgers have $193.2 million committed to 19 players for 2013, including $1.15 million for Tony Gwynn Jr., who is currently not on the 40-man roster, and $8 million for Yasiel Puig, who has yet to play above Class-A. The total payroll for next year, including dead money and a few estimates for filling the final few roster spots, is estimated at over $210 million.

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