While we wait for Kenley Jansen’s five-year deal to become official — today marks the 26th day since the Dodgers agreed to terms with their closer — here is some news on another rumored bullpen interest, plus a pair of players reportedly signed to minor league deals.
Neftali Feliz is among the right-handed pitchers the Dodgers are considering to pitch the eighth inning, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com. They have also been linked to other names, including a return of Joe Blanton, in the last few weeks.
We explored these options four weeks ago, but for now let’s focus on Feliz.
Feliz, who turns 29 in May, posted a 3.53 ERA and 4.52 FIP in 62 games for the Pirates in 2016. He posted his best strikeout rate (28%) since his rookie year of 2009, but also allowed 10 home runs after never allowing more than five long balls in any other season.
The right-hander allowed four total runs in his final two appearances, raising his ERA from 2.97 to 3.52, and didn’t pitch again after Sept. 3 with “right arm discomfort.”
Feliz has closing experience with 99 career saves, including 72 in 2010-2011 on Rangers teams that went to back-to-back World Series. He has shown the ability to get left-handers out, holding them to .180/.247/.393 in 2016 and .181/.264/.314 in his career.
Per Brooks Baseball, Feliz threw his four-seam fastball 69.9% of the time in 2016 — averaging 96.86 mph — while mixing in the slider 25.2% of the time.
The Dodgers have added a pair of players who played in the majors in 2016, on minor league contracts for 2017. Outfielder Tyler Holt signed back on Dec. 7, and pitcher Steve Geltz over the holidays, the latter per Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
Holt, who turns 28 in March, hit .235/.327/.296 in 208 plate appearances for the Reds in 2016. He played in 106 games, starting 16 games in center field, seven in right field and two in left field.
Geltz posted a 5.74 ERA and 7.91 FIP in 27 games with the Rays last year. The 29-year-old right-hander struck out 23 and walked nine in 26⅔ innings, but also allowed a whopping 11 home runs in 112 batters faced.
In parts of four major league seasons, Geltz — not to be confused with former Phillies infielder Steve Jeltz — has a 4.23 ERA and 5.36 FIP in 110 games, with 99 strikeouts and 43 walks in 104⅓ innings.