It took about a month longer than expected, but the Dodgers and Dave Roberts accomplished the inevitable and have agreed to a contract extension.
It was announced by the Dodgers as a four-year deal that runs through 2022. Given that the club had already exercised Roberts’ 2019 option, it would seem that the team tore that bit up and incorporated this upcoming season into the new pact. Either way: he’s the Dodgers’ skipper for the next four seasons at least.
While Roberts took some criticism for the handling of his pitching staff in the World Series, it goes without saying that his hiring three years ago was an excellent move for the franchise. Indeed, the Dodgers have thrived under Roberts, going a combined 287-200 (.589) and reaching the World Series in each of the last two seasons.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.