This is what counts for news these days:
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 31, 2013
That would be Mark Lowe, Ryan Rowland-Smith, & Kip Wells. I’m guessing that since they shared the throw day, not all of the teams were interested in all of the three players, and that’s convenient, because here’s my simple analysis on Wells: no. Hey, a guy heading into his age-36 season who got DFA’d by the Padres in August after a 5.85 FIP and two years out of baseball? Where do I sign up?
Rowland-Smith is somewhat more interesting, since he only just turned 30 last week and had some good years as a lefty swingman for the Mariners between 2007-09 before completely imploding in 2010, going 1-10 with a 6.55 FIP around time missed to a back strain. He spent the last two seasons in the minors for the Astros & Cubs, generally pitching poorly, and his brand of flyball homer-happy pitching would be a hilarious fit for Albuquerque, so here’s to hoping that’s not likelyl.
Then there’s Lowe, who is the only one I believe the Dodgers actually have interest in, given that not only did we hear reports of such interest in December, but all the way back in 2009. Lowe came up through the Seattle system with heat that touched triple digits, but missed much of 2006 and 2007 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right elbow. He made it back to spend most of 2008 and 2009 in the bigs, then had back surgery in 2010 and went to Texas as part of the Cliff Lee deal while on the disabled list. Lowe pitched decently if not exactly fantastically (4.32 FIP) for Texas in 2012, though he did miss more than a month with a right intracostal strain. It should be noted that he carried a 2.00 ERA into September, but a brutal month (seven earned runs in four innings) pushed that up to 3.43. ERA! For relievers!
Lowe doesn’t turn 30 until June and still carries some potential in that big arm, though strictly as a ROOGY thanks to a big platoon split. While I wouldn’t mind adding him to the mix, I assume he can probably land a big-league deal somewhere, and with a Dodger bullpen group that already has Javy Guerra, Shawn Tolleson, Peter Moylan and others pushing for what may be only one spot behind certainties Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Ronald Belisario, Matt Guerrier, J.P. Howell, and a probable deposed starter, I’m not sure I see the opportunity for him.
In other news, the Dodgers signed two more minor league free agents, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America — righty pitcher Kyle Cofield, late of the Pirates, and outfielder Jaylen Harris late of… well, more on him in a second. The 6’5″ Cofield was an 8th round pick of the Braves in 2005 and spent a few seasons as a starter in the Atlanta system before being shifted into relief when he was traded to the White Sox for Scott Linebrink after the 2010 season. He spent part of 2012 with the Pittsburgh Double-A affiliate in Altoona before being released on June 29 for unknown reasons; he’s not a prospect and I’m guessing he’s ticketed for the Chattanooga bullpen in 2013.
Harris is a little different, because he’s not even listed on baseball-reference; as far as I can tell, he’s never played professional baseball. A fair amount of Googling brings us to this site, which indicates he’s 5’9″, graduated from a Texas high school in 2011, and that he lists Razor Shines as one of his “mentors”. Oddly, it does list Shines as being with the Mets, for whom he was the first base coach in 2009-10, but I’m guessing it’s not a coincidence that Harris signed with the Dodgers now that Shines has moved on to their Single-A team in Great Lakes. Harris probably spends the year in the complex leagues, and chances are we never speak of him again.