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J.P. Howell has reported deal with Blue Jays

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LHP was part of Dodgers bullpen for 4 years

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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

Pos Player 2017 team Contract
Pos Player 2017 team Contract
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
*pending physical