The Dodgers have added veteran pitcher Justin Masterson, agreeing to terms with the right-hander to a minor league deal per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
Masterson, who turned 32 last Wednesday, pitched in the Pirates organization in 2016, putting up a 4.85 ERA in 26 games between Triple-A Indianapolis and Class-A Bradenton, including six starts. The right-hander struck out 40 and walked 29 in 59⅓ innings.
In parts of eight big league seasons with the Indians, Red Sox and Cardinals, Masterson has a 4.31 ERA (93 ERA+) and 3.94 FIP in 1,201 career innings, spread over 184 starts and 74 relief appearances, with 1,001 strikeouts and 484 walks.
It is unknown what role Masterson will fill, but he makes sense at least for depth, given that the Dodgers will carry six starting pitchers with the major league team (one in relief), and will have Scott Kazmir and Brock Stewart on the disabled list, and Julio Urias in shut-down mode.
That essentially leaves Ross Stripling — if he’s not in the major league pen — and Trevor Oaks to head the Triple-A Oklahoma City rotation.
Then again, Masterson wasn’t in any team’s camp, so it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to go right away if he’s starting.
The Dodgers used 15 different starting pitchers in 2016, and 16 in 2015. Oklahoma City used 24 different starting pitchers last year, and 25 in 2015.