Now that the biggest roster hole has been filled with the acquisition of infielder Logan Forsythe, the Dodgers could be proceeding to address a few smaller gaps in the bullpen, as some recent rumblings have the club connected to free agent relievers Jerry Blevins and Joe Blanton.
While several members of the front office crew have indeed acknowledged the possibility of bringing aboard another reliever, they have also confirmed that the Dodgers will only consider a minimal one-year investment. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was first to report the rumors on Tuesday evening.
Blanton played a crucial role in the Dodgers’ bullpen last year, making a team-high 75 appearances and recording a 7-2 record with 80 strikeouts and a 2.48 ERA in 80 innings of work.
The 13-year veteran has already stated that he prefers to stay on the West Coast, as he resides in the Napa Valley area where he owns a winery.
Despite suffering from apparent fatigue and struggling in the 2016 NLCS, Blanton, 36, has been excellent overall since he moved to the bullpen full time in 2015.
Last offseason, the Dodgers signed Blanton to a one-year, $4 million contract.
Used mostly as a lefty specialist, Blevins had a 2.79 ERA in 73 appearances for the Mets last season, including an impressive 11.1 K/9. The 33-year-old Ohio native has spent the last two years in New York, despite almost missing the entire 2015 season with a broken laft arm after being hit by a line drive. During the recovery process, though, he actually re-fractured his arm after he slipped on a sidewalk and was forced to sit out the rest of the year.
Over the course of his 10-year MLB career, Blevins has made 425 appearances and has tallied 371-1/3 innings, posting a 3.44 ERA with a 3.58 FIP in the process.
As far as left-handed presence in the bullpen goes, the Dodgers already have Grant Dayton, Adam Liberatore, Vidal Nuno and Luis Avilan all competing for spots. If he’s eventually excluded from the starting rotation come Opening Day, southpaw Alex Wood may be considered in a relief capacity as well.
Eibner, 28, made his first big league appearance in 2016 combining to hit .193 with 10 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 22 RBI with the Royals and the Athletics. Eibner also appeared in a combined 54 games with Triple-A Omaha and Triple-A Nashville, combining to hit .289/.394/.528 with nine doubles, 12 homers and 34 RBI.
In parts of six minor league seasons, Eibner hit .244 with 333 runs, 104 doubles, 20 triples, 85 homers and 270 RBI along with a .337 on-base percentage in 554 games. Eibner has also stolen 37 out of 50 bases throughout his minor league career and had a career year in 2015 with Triple-A Omaha, posting a .303/.364/.514 slash line with 23 doubles, 19 home runs, 81 RBI and 10 stolen bases. The San Diego native was drafted by the Royals in the second round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Arkansas.
Eibner has two option years remaining on his contract.
Tarsovich, 25, combined to hit .221 with nine homers and 32 RBI in 90 games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa last season. Over two minor league seasons, he has hit .236 with 12 homers and 50 RBI along with a .339 on-base percentage in 127 games. Tarsovich was selected by the Dodgers in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft out of Virginia Military Institute.
To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated right-handed pitcher Carlos Frias for assignment. Frias, 27, has gone 6-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 33 games over three big league seasons with the Dodgers, after making his big league debut in 2014.
(Dai Sugiura furnished some information provided in this report)