The Dodgers strategy in 2011 appears to be to try and win as many 3-2 games as possible, as they have signed yet another pitcher. The Dodgers have signed reliever Matt Guerrier, formerly of the Twins, to a three-year contract, according to Erik Boland of New York Newsday and confirmed by Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the deal will be for $12 million total.
Guerrier, 32, had a 3.17 ERA in 71 innings with the Twins last season, but his FIP (4.23) and xFIP (4.53) were much higher. His strikeout rate is 5.9 batters per nine innings in his career, and has been 5.5 and 5.3 the past two seasons.Guerrier has appeared in 70 or more games in each of the past four seasons, leading the American league in games pitched in 2008 and 2009. In the past four years, Guerrier has pitched in 302 games, more than every other major league pitcher except for LOOGY Pedro Feliciano.
He made $3.15 million with the Twins last season. Considering that Scott Downs, with only a cup of coffee of closer experience, signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Angels last week, don't be surprised if Guerrier's deal is in that range. Guerrier has had exactly one save for five straight seasons.
Signing middle relievers to multi-year contracts aren't the best idea, especially when the bullpen is already full of arms. Seriously, why give any money to a reliever when Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Kenley Jansen are at the back end of the bullpen? To me, this signals that Broxton is on the market. If so, I hope he can fetch an actual hitter who can play left field.
Guerrier would have been a Type A free agent, but he was not offered arbitration by Minnesota, so the Dodgers won't have to forfeit their second-round draft pick next year. At the very least, some corresponding move will have to be made by the Dodgers before the deal becomes official, because their 40-man roster is full. Most likely, that will mean John Lindsey will be designated for assignment.