Brandon League, who passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week, has now been released by the Dodgers.
Los Angeles is on the hook for his entire $7.5 million salary as part of a three-year, $22.5 million deal handed out by the old front office regime, so now that League is available to sign with any team for any price there figures to be some interest.
League hasn’t pitched in the majors this season because of a shoulder injury, but he threw 11 innings with a 0.82 ERA and 8/2 K/BB ratio in the minors while rehabbing. And last season he appeared in 63 games for the Dodgers, throwing 63 innings with a 2.57 ERA and zero home runs allowed.
The Brandon League Era is likely over in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers announced this evening that they have designated the veteran reliever for assignment.
League hasn’t pitched in the majors this season due to a right shoulder impingement. The 32-year-old recently posted a 0.84 ERA and 8/2 K/BB ratio in 10 2/3 innings over 10 appearances during a minor league rehab assignment between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City. His 30-day rehab window came to an end this weekend, so the Dodgers were forced to decide whether to add him to the active roster. They ultimately didn’t have room for him in their bullpen.
League is in the final year of his three-year, $22.5 million contract signed under former general manager Ned Colletti. He has posted a 3.55 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 over 149 appearances with the club. Given that he’s still owed roughly half of his $7.5 million salary for this season, he’ll almost certainly pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll still get his money even if he ends up opting for free agency over an outright assignment to the minors.
Down 4-2 with two on and two outs in the ninth, Carlos Gonzalez stepped up to the plate and launched a low fastball from Yimi Garcia deep into the right field pavilion:
That ended up being the ballgame.
The Dodgers’ bullpen has been better than it should be. In spring training they lost Kenley Jansen and Brandon League. Joel Peralta went down after the season started. Yet, despite all of the new and inexperienced faces, they’ve held their own. They have the second best bullpen ERA, second best batting average against and lead the league in bullpen strikeouts.
But all of the new faces may be messing with Don Mattingly and causing him to avoid some better choices. Like, say, putting in one of his many available lefties to face the left-handed Carlos Gonzalez last night rather than have a righty like Garcia face him.
As Mark Saxon of ESPN LA reported last night, Mattingly said after the game that the ninth is “Yimi’s inning.” Well, no. It’s Kenley Jansen’s inning maybe, and with him gone you should probably play more matchups rather than revert to such conventions as relievers owning an inning because of who they are.