Now that the World Series is over, baseball's offseason is here. Everyone eligible for free agency became a free agent Monday morning at 6 a.m. PT. For the Dodgers that means seven players are now off the 40-man roster.
Relief pitcher Brandon League is the most likely one to return, as Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported that the team is talking with League's representatives on a three-year deal. League, who turns 30 in March, made $5 million last year, and with his 52 saves in the last two years will likely get a "proven closer" bump in the open market, but more on that shortly.
League has averaged 69 games and 72 innings in the last four years, proving quite durable, but that was the kind of thinking that netted Matt Guerrier a three-year, $12 million contract before the 2011 season. League put up a 2.30 ERA in 28 games with the Dodgers, with 27 strikeouts and 10 unintentional walks in 27⅓ innings, and had six saves in September.
League is joined in free agency by six Dodgers teammates:
OF Shane Victorino: age 32 in 2013, made $9.5 million in 2012; with three outfielders signed through at least 2017, the Dodgers don't have a spot for him
RHP Joe Blanton: age 32 in 2013, made $8.5 million in 2012; not exactly the type of starting pitcher signing that would inspire, especially on a team with six starters (minus perhaps an injured Chad Billingsley) under contract for 2013
RHP Jamey Wright: age 38 in 2013, made $1.4 million (including bonuses) in 2012; his streak of seven consecutive minor league contracts seems likely to end
LHP Randy Choate: age 37 in 2013, made $1.5 million in 2012; proved valuable as a LOOGY, holding lefties to a .171/.300/.268 (7-for-41) line
IF Adam Kennedy: age 37 in 2013, made $800,000 in 2012; will his Sept. 7 home run off Tim Lincecum be his final at-bat?
OF Bobby Abreu: age 39 in 2013, made $9 million in 2012; essentially just a pinch hitter now, his career might be over.
There is a quiet period in Major League Baseball this week until Friday at 8:59 p.m. PT. Teams can talk to free agents from other teams all they want, but cannot sign them until after that Friday night deadline. Free agents are free to sign with their old team at any time.
The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster, including three players with club options for 2013 that must be exercised or bought out this week: Juan Rivera, Matt Treanor, and Todd Coffey.