The Dodgers have signed pitcher Joe Blanton, bringing back the 35-year-old as a long reliever — a role he thrived in last year — on a one-year, $4 million contract.
Blanton briefly retired in 2014 when he flamed out as a starting pitcher for the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate. In 2013, his last full season as a starting pitcher, Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 earned-run average for the Angels.
In 2015, the right-hander re-surfaced as a relief pitcher with the Kansas City Royals, who sold his contract to the Pittsburgh Pirates in July. His combined stats for the two teams: A 2.84 earned-run average in 36 games — 32 out of the bullpen — over 76 innings. Blanton struck out 79 batters against only 16 walks.
The Philadelphia Phillies traded Blanton to the Dodgers in August 2012. He went 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 10 starts. After the season, he signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels.