Report: Blue Jays sign J.P. Howell

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Blue Jays have inked reliever J.P. Howell to a one-year deal, pending a physical. Financial details have yet to be revealed.

Howell, 33, had a mediocre 2016 campaign with the Dodgers, finishing with a 4.09 ERA and a 44/15 K/BB ratio over 50 2/3 innings. However, the lefty put up a 1.43 ERA in 2015, a 2.39 ERA in ’14, and 2.03 in ’13, so it’s reasonable to think he could return to that level of pitching. Howell showed a reverse platoon split in 2016 — meaning lefties hit him better than righties — but has historically dominated left-handed hitters. Howell is also quite good at inducing ground balls. Since 2013, Howell’s 58.5 percent ground ball rate is 13th best among relievers (min. 150 innings).

Howell gives the Jays a second lefty in the bullpen along with Aaron Loup.