Dodgers to sign Jimmy Nelson

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Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to a one-year deal. He’ll make $1 million in 2020, with incentives that could triple that. There is a vesting mutual option for 2021 that is much more valuable, perhaps as much as $12-13 million. This is, obviously, a make-good deal for Nelson and a low-risk flyer for the Dodgers on a pitcher who has lost, basically, the last two seasons due to injury.

Nelson, you may recall, suffered dislocated his shoulder after diving back to first base following a single he had half a thought of turning into a double late in the 2017 season. He then underwent surgery to repair a partially torn labrum and strained rotator cuff. The rehab cost him all of 2018. He pitched in ten games last season, three as a starter, and was ineffective. He fared better before that in some minor league work. Shoulder injuries are rough.

Prior to the injury, Nelson was finishing up his best season of his career. He placed ninth among 2017 NL Cy Young Award candidates after turning in a 12-6 record in 29 starts and a 3.49 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 10.2 SO/9, and 4.8 fWAR across 175.1 innings.

If Nelson can regain part of his old form he’ll be a useful addition to the Dodgers. But like I said: shoulder injuries are rough, so it’s hard to tell what Los Angeles is getting.