In a development that essentially removes any suspense heading into spring training where their bullpen is concerned, The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms with free-agent reliever Todd Coffey on a one-year, $1.3 million contract with a club option for 2013.
The deal essentially removes any suspense surrounding the Dodgers' bullpen heading into spring training. Coffey, a right-hander who has seven big league seasons with three clubs, will get $1 million this year with an option year at $2.5 million and a $300,000 buyout, a source said.
Coffey, 31, locks up what probably was the last available spot in what already was a deep, talented bullpen. He joins a group that includes closer Javy Guerra, setup man Kenley Jansen and middle relievers Matt Guerrier, Blake Hawksworth, Mike MacDougal and Scott Elbert. Elbert would be the only left-hander.
That means that barring an injury, the Dodgers won't have a bullpen spot up for grabs this spring. It also likely means that young pitchers such as Michael Antonini, Nathan Eovaldi and Josh Lindblom, all of whom were in line to compete for the final spot, now likely will begin the season in the minors.
Coffey spent last season with the Washington Nationals, posting a 3.62 ERA in 69 appearances, striking out 46 and walking 20 in 59 2/3 innings. He has a career ERA of 4.08 and briefly pitched out of the closer's role for the Cincinnati Reds in 2006, posting eight of his 11 career saves.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.