The Dodger bullpen has been one of the best in baseball since Ned Colletti took charge of the Dodgers in 2006. Their 3.64 ERA in that time ranks fourth in the MLB behind reliever factories San Diego, Atlanta, and Oakland. What's even more amazing is that the Dodgers have done it with almost no outside help.
The best pen arms of the Colletti regime have come from the farm or have been low cost reclamation projects. In fact, when Ned actually does give money to a reliever, they instantly crumble to dust, and it happens so often it's fair to say there's a Curse of Colletti's Cash. Here's a look at every reliever that has been guaranteed over $2 million during the Ned regime, and how money ruined them.
|2006||Eric Gagne||10||Threw two innings, but career was already on life support by this point. By WAR one of the most successful seasons out of anyone on this list|
|2006||Danys Baez||4||Had 102 career saves before coming to the Dodgers, traded to Atlanta in July due to general crapiness.|
|2009||Guillermo Mota||2.35||One the two exceptions, Mota had has best year in ages with the Dodgers. Of course for Guillermo Mota this still means near replacement level back end of the bullpen type probably pitching over his head.|
|2010||George Sherrill||4.5||Quickly shuffled to the back end of the bullpen and took up the role of "Left Handed One Out Only Guy Only Used In Blow Out Games" or a LOOGYUSIBOG|
|2010/2011||Jonathan Broxton||4/7||Was fine until I told my wife "this is the best reliever in the game" and was never the same.|
|2011||Hong-Chih Kuo||2.725||Finally succumbed to a life time of arm injuries with a nine ERA in 27 innings|
|2012/2013||Matt Guerrier||4.75/4.75||Missed large chunks of time with injury, was largely replacement level when he was healthy.|
|2013-2015||Brandon League||So much||After a few years of success in Seattle instantly became the Dodger white flag.|
|2013-2015||J.P. Howell||2.85/7/4.25||The only potentially cursed person to have a very good year.|
|2014||Brian Wilson||10||Way too soon to say he's done, but early results are not good.|
|2014||Kenley Jansen||4.3||So far so good even with a couple of blown saves, but probably won't be if he throws 105 games this year which seems to be Don Mattingly's goal.|
|2014||Chris Perez||2.35||Established level of performance is low enough that he may be immune to the curse.|
The curse's consistency is something to behold. In the first year of Guerrier's back loaded deal where he made $1.5 million, he was competent enough to be considered "a guy". As soon as his salary shot up, he collapsed. Broxton was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball, but as soon as he gets his payday? Done. Kuo had his arm rebuilt more often than Malibu cliff-side real estate but he gets his $2.725 million and within a year he can't even make the Mariners. Takashi Saito gets $2 million and not a penny more. Totally fine.
On the bright side, there appears to be some gray area between two and three million before the curse kicks in, so maybe, just maybe, Chris Perez will be spared.
Clearly Brian Wilson is in trouble, so my solution is simple. He should donate eight of his ten million to someone who isn't a Dodger reliever, such as me, and all should be well again. It's a tough burden to bare, but I'm willing to do it for the Dodgers.
P.S. I am not a crackpot.