Pitcher J.P. Howell exercised the $6.25 million option in his contract for 2016, electing to stay with the Dodgers rather than become a free agent.
Howell, 32, went 6-1 with a 1.43 earned-run average in 65 games in 2015. His 1.97 ERA in three seasons with the Dodgers is the third-lowest of any relief pitcher with at least 200 appearances since 2013.
Howell signed a two-year contract prior to the 2014 season. His 2016 contract option became a player option when he pitched his 52nd game of the season in August, then finished the season on the active roster.
No Dodgers pitcher made more appearances in 2015 than Howell. He was the primary left-hander in a bullpen that also included Adam Liberatore and Luis Avilan, who arrived in the July trade that sent southpaw Paco Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves.
Avilan is eligible for arbitration and Liberatore is under team control, which increases the likelihood that the Dodgers’ top three left-handed relievers will return in 2016.
Jansen, who saved 44 games in 49 opportunities in his first full season as the Dodgers’ closer last year, had surgery Tuesday to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot. He is expected to miss the next 8-12 weeks.
The 27-year-old pitcher had been training at Dodger Stadium since January. According to the team, Jansen first reported discomfort in his left foot while running last week. A subsequent x-ray, MRI and CT scan showed the problem in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot. The surgery was performed by Drs. Earl Brien and David Thordarson under the direction of Dr. Neal ElAttrache at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Continue reading →