Dodgers re-sign Brandon League to three-year, $22.5M deal

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The Dodgers acquired reliever Brandon League from the Mariners at the July 31 trade deadline and were pleased with the numbers (2.30 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 27 1/3 innings) he posted down the stretch. So they’ve decided to keep him around for a while.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the impending free agent was re-signed on Tuesday evening to a new three-year contract. The financial details of which are not yet available.

Any three-year deal for a reliever deserves to be met with raised eyebrows, but League boasts a 3.14 ERA (and 122 ERA+) since the start of the 2010 campaign. And the Dodgers have enough financial backing now to spend somewhat recklessly.

The 29-year-old righty will presumably serve in a setup role in 2013 behind closer Kenley Jansen.

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UPDATE, 8:50 PM: Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM reports that the three-year deal is worth north of $7.1 million per season and Hernandez adds that the Dodgers are viewing League as their closer. Lordy.

UPDATE, 9:02 PM: Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors says the contract is actually worth $7.5 million per year and that it also includes a vesting option. What in the world is Ned Colletti doing?

UPDATE, 9:05 PM: Hernandez confirms: it’s a three-year, $22.5 million contract for League.

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

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Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

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Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.