In the hopes of trying to find even more pitching depth, the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed veteran right-hander Joe Blanton today.

The 35-year old former starting pitcher had a career resurgence last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he put up a 1.57 ERA and fanned 39 batters in 34.1 innings out of the bullpen.


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The news came down just a few short minutes ago from Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan):

If this is one of the ways the team is looking to bolster their bullpen, then it’s a very interesting method.

Blanton actually pitched for the Dodgers way back in 2012, and finished with a disastrous 4.99 ERA in 10 starts.

However, as noted, he pitched fine as a reliever last year. It remains to be seen if that’s even a repeatable season for him, or if that was just a flash in the pan that a guy towards the tail end of his career managed to string together for half-a-season.

At just one year and $4 million, this a pretty low-risk signing. But it begs the question: why not sign a more proven reliever?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the team’s plan really is, but for now this move isn’t a bad one so long as he can come close to his 2015 reliever level.

Read Full Press Release

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton to a one-year contract.
 
Blanton, 35, is coming off a career year with the Royals and Pirates, where he combined to go 7-2 with two saves and a 2.84 ERA in 36 games (four starts). After opening the campaign with Kansas City, Blanton was acquired by the Pirates on July 29 and went 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA (6 ER/34.1 IP) in 21 appearances down the stretch, ranking among the National League’s best relievers (min. 15.0 IP) in wins (1st), innings (34.1, 2nd), strikeouts (39, T-3rd) and ERA (9th) during that span. Overall, he limited opposing hitters to a .240 batting average, including a .203 mark against right-handers, while posting a 1.12 WHIP and a 4.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio (79 SO/16 BB).
 
Blanton enters his second stint with Los Angeles after making 10 starts with the club in 2012 and has a 92-91 record with a 4.44 ERA in 301 career games (252 starts) in 11 big league seasons with the Athletics (2004-08), Phillies (2008-12), Dodgers (2012), Angels (2013), Royals (2015) and Pirates (2015). In 49 career relief appearances, he’s posted a 5-2 record with two saves and a 3.91 ERA.
 
Blanton was originally selected by Oakland in the first round (24th overall) of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Kentucky.

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