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Dodgers add Joe Blanton to bullpen with 1-year deal

Blanton can reportedly earn up to $5 million, including incentives.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have added another arm to their bullpen, and it is someone with 252 career starts. Joe Blanton has a one-year deal with the Dodgers, the team announced on Tuesday. The contract is worth a reported $4 million, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Blanton was out of baseball in 2014, retiring after just two Triple-A starts in the A's system, one year after putting up a 6.04 ERA in 132⅔ innings with the Angels in 2013.

But he made a triumphant comeback in 2015, first with the Royals then with the Pirates, put up a 2.84 ERA and 2.92 FIP in 36 games, with 79 strikeouts ad 16 walks in 76 innings. But after making four starts with Kansas City, he found a home in the bullpen. Blanton in relief last year put up a 2.04 ERA and 2.56 FIP in his 32 relief appearances, with 62 strikeouts (a 27-percent strikeout rate) and 12 walks (only seven unintentional walks) in 57⅓ innings.

His ground ball rate as a relief pitcher in 2015 was 48.4 percent, up from his 44.4-percent career rate.

Blanton, 35, was especially tough on right-handed batters in 2015, holding them to just .203/.231/.327 with a .239 wOBA, with 49 strikeouts and five walks in 161 batters faced, a 30.4-percent strikeout rate.

In addition to the $4 million base salary, Blanton can earn up to $1 million in performance bonuses bases on innings pitched, per Rosenthal. Blanton would get $250,000 for each of 50 and 60 innings pitched, and $500,000 for 70 innings.

This is the second time around with the Dodgers for Blanton, who was 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 10 starts in 2012 after getting acquired at the trade deadline from the Phillies for minor league pitcher Ryan O`Sullivan.

The Dodgers have a full 40 players currently on the 40-man roster, with new Cuban pitcher Yaisel Sierra not yet officially added. The club has $202.03 million committed to 24 players in 2016.