Relief pitcher J.P. Howell has agreed to terms with the Blue Jays on a one-year contract, per Buster Olney of ESPN. The deal is pending a physical.
Howell’s deal is worth $3 million, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
That follows four seasons in Los Angeles during which the left-hander posted a 2.49 ERA and 3.23 FIP in 264 games, never fewer than 64 appearances in any one year, with 185 strikeouts and 77 walks in 205⅔ innings.
Howell posted a 4.09 ERA and 3.50 FIP in 2016, with 44 strikeouts and 15 walks in 50⅔ innings, his highest ERA by a run and a half while with the Dodgers. He was left off the postseason roster for both the NLDS and NLCS.
During his tenure in Los Angeles, Howell held left-handers to just .214/.284/.274 with a 24.4% strikeout rate, though in 2016 they hit .302/.343/.417 against him.
One wonders how much Howell might have gotten on the free agent market last offseason, coming off a 1.43 ERA in 65 games, and a 1.97 ERA in 200 games over three years (2013-2015). Instead,
Howell exercised his player option worth $6.25 million to return to the Dodgers for one more season.
Howell, who turns 34 in April, has a 3.77 ERA and 3.94 FIP in 531 games in parts of 11 seasons, including 33 starts. The left-hander has 560 strikeouts and 263 walks in 608⅔ career innings, and 22 saves.
Dodgers 2016-2017 free agents
|CL||Kenley Jansen||Dodgers||5 years, $80 million|
|3B||Justin Turner||Dodgers||4 years, $64 million|
|OF||Josh Reddick||Astros||4 years, $52 million|
|LHP||Rich Hill||Dodgers||3 years, $48 million|
|RHP||Jesse Chavez||Angels||1 year, $5.75 million|
|RHP||Joe Blanton||Nationals||1 year, $4 million*|
|SP||Brett Anderson||Cubs||1 year, $3.5 million|
|LHP||J.P. Howell||Jays||1 year, $3 million|
|2B||Chase Utley||Dodgers||1 year, $2 million|
|RHP||Louis Coleman||Reds||minor league deal|