I’d been suggesting for a few days that it was no slam dunk that the Dodgers would tender a contract to Ronald Belisario, but even I didn’t expect that they’d actually take the step to cut him loose rather than pay him something like $2.3m in arbitration.
Tonight, that’s exactly what the Dodgers have done, announcing that Belisario was non-tendered after four seasons (over five years, of course) with the team. He was of course the height of inconsistency, putting up two good seasons (2009, 2012), one lousy (2010), and one mediocre (2013), while missing the 2011 campaign entirely.
He’s not someone you lose a lot of sleep over, of course, so I can’t get angsty about this either way. Still, the money is minimal for this team, and he didn’t allow an earned run in 58 of his 77 appearances (not, of course, that this is always the best way to judge a reliever). It’s still possible that he returns, but probably unlikely; he’ll be pitching in the bigs for someone next year.
In the meantime, the 40-man-roster is now down to 34, and the only seemingly guaranteed members of the bullpen are Kenley Jansen, Chris Withrow, and Paco Rodriguez. (Sigh, fine, and Brandon League.) That’s a pretty talented young trio to start with, but both Withrow and Rodriguez still have something to prove in 2014. You’ll see guys like Jose Dominguez and probably Onelki Garcia and Yimi Garcia at some point, but with J.P. Howell and Brian Wilson free agents, there’s suddenly a lot of work to do in the bullpen.
Anyway, so long, Ronald. We’ll always have memories, like that time you missed an entire season due to drug issues, or all the times you were late to camp, or when you did this: