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Ryan Brasier returns to Dodgers on 2-year deal, per reports

Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Ryan Brasier resurrected his career after joining the Dodgers midseason in 2023. The veteran right-hander parlayed a nearly four-month heater into a two-year free agent contract to return to the Dodgers per both Jon Heyman of the New York Post and Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic.

Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said on Saturday at DodgerFest that the team had maintained contact with and interest in Brasier.

“We’ve talked with him, we feel good about, obviously the person that he was and how he contributed,” Gomes said. “We’ve stayed in touch with him and let’s see how things play out.”

Brasier was released by the Red Sox in May after five-plus years in Boston, thanks to a 7.29 ERA in 20 appearances. Within two weeks he signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers, and after two games with Oklahoma City he was back in the majors with Los Angeles.

In those two appearances in Triple-A, Brasier retired all nine batters he faced, with five strikeouts, which proved to be a harbinger of his performance with the Dodgers.

In 39 games with the Dodgers, Brasier had a minuscule 0.70 ERA in 38⅔ innings, the second-lowest ERA in team history in a season of at least 30 innings, narrowly behind only Hank Aguirre in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher.

Brasier was even better down the stretch, allowing only one earned run after the All-Star break, and over his final 20 appearances had a 0.00 ERA (allowing two unearned runs) in 18⅔ innings, while striking out a third of his batters. He allowed a solo home run in his only appearance in the NLDS, but that came after two perfect innings with three strikeouts.

On the season, Brasier had a 3.02 ERA and 3.50 ERA in 59⅔ innings over 59 games with 56 strikeouts and a 23.4-percent strikeout rate with 19 walks.

Brasier earned $2 million in 2023 in his final year of salary arbitration eligibility before free agency.

In parts of seven major league seasons with the Angels, Red Sox, and Dodgers, Brasier has a 3.88 ERA and 3.61 FIP in 257⅓ innings, with 256 strikeouts and 79 walks.

Once the deal is official, the Dodgers will need to make a corresponding transaction to make room on the 40-man roster. The Dodgers also have a pending deal to send Caleb Ferguson to the Yankees for Matt Gage and a prospect, per multiple reports, but that trade is 40-man neutral (Gage replaces Ferguson). But more on that trade a little later.

The Dodgers can begin utilizing the 60-day injured list on Thursday.