The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly given reliever Brandon League a three year contract extension. The monetary part of the agreement is still unknown. The 29-year old League was acquired by the team last July from the Mariners. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times first reported the deal.
While bringing back League was a priority of Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, the terms seem to be a little much for a player of League's caliber. Multi-year deals for relievers are usually an awful thing, and giving someone the caliber of League three years (and untold money, but likely at least $4 million a year given League's salary last season of $5 million) seems to be a little silly, even if your team has an ungodly amount of money like Colletti's Dodgers.
League isn't a dominant late game reliever like the type of player you'd expect to get millions of dollars. Over 414 2/3 innings in his career, League has been worth just 4.0 fWAR and has a 3.60 ERA. He's struck out more than seven batters per inning just once in his career (2009, with the Blue Jays), and walked under three batters per nine just twice in his career (2009, and 2011 with the Mariners). However, League is a rather hard-thrower with a fastball averaging more than 95 miles per hour, and has gotten a double digit whiff rate over the last four seasons. He also generats a lot of groundballs, averaging a near 60% rate over his career.
This seems like an overreaction on the part of Colletti to League's two month sample size with the Dodgers. In those two months in Los Angeles, League struck out 27 batters in 27 1/3 innings with a 2.30 ERA, but did walk 14 while allowing just a .258 BABIP. It seems like that instead of modeling this signing on some of the more wise reliever signings in recent years, Colletti is taking things back a couple of seasons and replicating reliever signings that got teams in trouble, such as Fernando Rodney's contract with the Angels (two years, $11 million), Scott Linebrink's with the White Sox (four years, $19 million), and Kyle Farnsworth's with the Yankees (three years, $17 million).
UPDATE: $7.5 million per season as well as a vesting option according to Tim Dierkes. This is absolutely laughable, and the early favorite for worst move of the offseason.
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