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Dodgers sign Jake McGee to one-year deal

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LHP was released by Rockies on Friday

MLB: OCT 01 NL Tie-breaker - Rockies at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dodgers on Tuesday signed left-handed reliever Jake McGee to a one-year contract, adding another arm to their bullpen.

McGee was released last Friday by the Colorado Rockies, who are on the hook for the bulk of his roughly $3.5 million salary this year (pro-rated from $9.5 million) in the final season of his three-year, $27 million contract signed before the 2018 season. The Dodgers are responsible for the pro-rated share of the $563,500 minimum major league salary for McGee, roughly $208,704.

The Associated Press also reports that the Rockies are responsible for the $2 million buyout should the Dodgers decline McGee’s $9 million option for 2021.

McGee turns 34 on Aug. 6.

In 2019, McGee had a 4.35 ERA and 6.00 FIP in 45 games with the Rockies, with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41⅓ innings. His strikeout rate last year (19.4 percent) was the second-lowest of his career, and opposing batters hit .288/.339/.564 against him. McGee also allowed 17 of 26 inherited runners to score (65.4 percent), nearly double the league-wide rate.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

The southpaw held left-handed batters to .235/.267/.426 last season, though over his career has been slightly better against right-handers.

Jake McGee splits

Split BA/OBP/SLG BB rate K rate wOBA
Split BA/OBP/SLG BB rate K rate wOBA
vs. RHB career .226/.286/.383 7.2% 25.9% 0.286
vs. LHB career .246/.301/.392 6.6% 27.4% 0.302
vs. RHB 2019 .326/.390/.663 6.7% 19.0% 0.428
vs. LHB 2019 .235/.267/.426 5.3% 20.0% 0.283

The Dodgers saw a lot of McGee in his four years with the Rockies, facing him in 29 games from 2016-19. Los Angeles has hit .225/.282/.480 against McGee during that time, including 7-for-44, .159/.196/.477 with three home runs, 11 strikeouts and two walks in the last two seasons.

“I just think his pitch mix fits in with our club,” Dave Roberts said. “There’s some things we’ve identified with Jake, a lot of upside.”

That pitch mix for McGee, the last two seasons, has been 83.8-percent four-seam fastball, and 16.2-percent slider, per Baseball Savant.

McGee will wear number 41 with the Dodgers.

McGee will join the Dodgers on Tuesday, and will pitch in Tuesday’s game. McGee will join a group of left-handed relievers on the 40-man roster that includes Adam Kolarek, Caleb Ferguson, Scott Alexander, and Victor Gonzalez. On Monday, Alexander faced hitters in a simulated inning, though it’s unclear if he’s in the Dodgers’ plans for the Opening Day roster.

“With Scott, we still haven’t made a decision yet on what his next steps will be,” manager Dave Roberts said Monday.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers also placed Jimmy Nelson on the 45-day injured list (the equivalent to the 60-day IL in this truncated season). Nelson is out for the season after having back surgery on July 7.

The team now has 39 players on the 40-man roster. The club player pool is full, at 60 players.