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Dodgers release Brandon League

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Friday released relief pitcher Brandon League, ending his nearly three-year tenure in Los Angeles. The club designated League for assignment on July 2.

"It was unfortunate. I talked to Brandon, and he seemed to be in pretty good spirits," manager Don Mattingly said last week. "It's a changing of the guard a little bit, with some young guys throwing the ball well out of the bullpen for us. At this point I think you start going with your best seven guys, and obviously at this point we didn't feel Brandon was one of those guys."

League pitched in 10 games between Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City on a minor league rehab assignment, working his way back from a right shoulder impingement that sidelined him since March.

"I'm not sure exactly where his velocities were, but they were a tick down from last year. But he was having a lot of success and he passed all the things you would want a guy to do," Mattingly said. "He was able to go back-to-back, he was getting his outs, he was working quickly, he was throwing strikes."

The Dodgers are on the hook for the remainder of League's $7.5 million salary, roughly $3.5 million. If he signs a major league deal elsewhere it would offset what the Dodgers owe, so expect that deal to be for a pro-rated share of the minimum salary of $507,500.

"As a manager you want him to be in the big leagues somewhere," Mattingly said. "I think someone will give him an opportunity. Bullpens are always fragile, and guys are going down all over the place."

League was 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA and 20 saves in 149 games over parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, with 93 strikeouts and 56 walks in 144⅔ innings.