When J.P. Howell signed the other day, I briefly outlined the current state of the bullpen:
You’ll notice that I forgot to include Brandon League there. I did the same thing in a conversation in the comments the other day, too. This echoes the exact same thing from last year, when Matt Guerrier was such an afterthought that I continued to forget his existence. In League’s case, I suppose that’s my subconscious taking pity on me. “No, you don’t want to think about that. Let’s think about bat flips instead!”
But we really can’t forget about him, can we? After making $4.5m in 2013, he’s due $7.5m in each of the next two seasons, and even this team isn’t going to up and just eat $15m by cutting him loose. (Fortunately, his 2016 player option, which requires at least 55 games finished in 2015, seems like it’s safely out of reach.) I’d like to grasp to that small bit of hope that says that he’s been so up and down over the last few years that he could “find it” as quickly as he lost it last year, but that’s based on nothing more than a desperate hope for any sort of value. (He, ah, kinda sorta missed more bats as the year went on? Ah, forget it.)
Really, the only chance that League goes somewhere is if the Dodgers end up making an Andre Ethier trade and agree to eat a ton of his money, but then force the acquiring team to take on League as well. That doesn’t seem super likely, unfortunately.
So assuming League sticks around, that makes the bullpen depth chart look more like…
That’s six spots, with one remaining for the collection of Javy Guerra, Jose Dominguez, Seth Rosin, any other free agents they sign, and the usual collection of NRIs. It’s a good bullpen, with a potential to be very good. But we’ll have to remember that League exists. Clearly, it’s all too easy to forget him.