Welcome back for our weekly edition of ‘Mound Visit Monday’. Every week, we take a look back at the Dodgers’ most notable transactions that have happened over the last 22 years.
This week, we’re taking a look back at transactions that took place between January 24-30 dating back to 2000.
2006: Joe Beimel signed as free agent
There are a lot of iconic numbers in Dodgers history. Only a handful of players instantly come to mind when you think of their number. For No. 97, you likely immediately think of Joe Beimel.
He signed as a free agent after appearing in only 10 games over the previous two seasons. During his tenure in LA, Beimel was one of LA’s top options out of the bullpen. He spent three years with the Dodgers, appearing in a total of 216 games. In 186.1 innings of action, the lefty posted a 3.04 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 1.33 WHIP and 145 ERA+.
Aside from his great numbers, Beimel is remembered for a number of reasons. For one, he was removed from the Dodgers’ playoff roster in 2006 after cutting his pitching hand. Beimel originally told the team he injured himself in his hotel room, but later admitted he cut it on a broken glass in a New York bar.
When Joe Torre came to the Dodgers in 2008, he made Beimel cut his long hair.
Oh, Beimel also had a custom robe/jersey.
2017: Signed Brandon Morrow as a free agent
The Dodgers added depth to their bullpen by signing Brandon Morrow to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Little did they know he’d become one of their most reliable relievers in 2017.
He appeared in 45 games during the regular season, posting a 2.06 ERA and 1.55 FIP with 50 strikeouts and just nine walks in 43 ⅔ innings. Among major league pitchers with at least 20 innings in 2017, Morrow had the third-best OPS allowed (.454).
Morrow was LA’s most worked reliever come October. He appeared in 14 of LA’s 15 postseason games, which tied Paul Assenmacher’s record from 1997 for most games pitched in one postseason. In addition to that, Morrow was the second pitcher ever to appear in all seven World Series games, joining Darold Knowles who did it in 1973.
The Dodgers brought Morrow back last year, signing him to a minor-league deal. He hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2018, but the Dodgers wanted to take a flyer on him. Ultimately, his arm just never recovered and he didn’t even make it to the minors in 2021.
2019: Signed AJ Pollock as a free agent
The Dodgers made an interesting signing, as they brought in outfielder AJ Pollock. He had an interesting contract that featured a lot of incentives and options. Well, it’s turned out to be a great contract as Pollock has established himself as one of the best bargains in all of baseball.
Pollock will be entering his fourth season with the club in 2022. During his three seasons with the Dodgers, he’s batting .282/.337/.519/.856 with 52 home runs, 51 doubles, 150 runs driven in and 132 runs scored.
With the exception of 2020, Pollock has missed time dealing with a number of injuries. However, he’s excellent whenever he’s in the lineup. He’s definitely been one of LA’s best signings of the past decade.
2004: Signed Jose Lima as a free agent
Everyone remembers Jose Lima. One of the more memorable players from the past 20 years and he was only with LA for one season. In 2004, Lima went 13-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 36 games for the Dodgers. Of the 36 outings, 24 of them were starts.
His regular season wasn’t memorable, but he delivered one of the greatest performances in Dodgers postseason history. In Game 3 of the 2004 NLDS, Lima tossed a nine inning shutout at Dodger Stadium against the Cardinals. He allowed only five hits while striking out four and issuing only one walk.
It was the Dodgers’ first postseason victory since winning Game 5 of the 1988 World Series.