From ESPN’s Buster Olney comes word that the Dodgers finalized a two-year contract with left-hander J.P. Howell on Tuesday afternoon.
The two-year pact, which carries $11.5 million in guaranteed money along with a $6.25 million vesting option for 2016, will be officially announced Thursday after Howell passes his pre-signing physical exam.
Howell drew heavy free agent interest this winter from the Rockies, but they opted for a three-year, $16.5 million agreement with southpaw Boone Logan. Howell, 30, registered an outstanding 2.03 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 62 innings this past summer for Los Angeles while holding left-handed batters to a hopeless .164/.225/.227 slash line.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.