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  1. This move would allow the Dodgers to be a slave to the save stat with League, while deploying Jensen in all non-9th-inning-with-lead high leverage situations.

    Comment by Dave9000 — October 31, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  2. Perhaps the move is strategic? Jeremy Affeldt is a valuable lefty reliever for the Giants and has a track record of postseason dominance. Does signing League to this risky contract price Affeldt out of the Giants’ range? Even if League isn’t as good as he was in 2012 with the Dodgers, weakening a division rival significantly most certainly makes up for it. Kenley Jansen also serves as good insurance in case League implodes.

    Comment by Petruchio — October 31, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  3. This deal probably won’t change the market for other relievers significantly. The Dodgers are likely the only team that would be willing to pay this kind of money for a reliever. If Affeldt tries to play the “well League got that much money” card then the Giants will just say “then go sign with the Dodgers then.”

    Comment by Timothy — October 31, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  4. LOL. If that’s the Doyers strategy, I hope they do that for every potential FA the Giants have.

    Comment by Nivra — October 31, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  5. The Dodgers are also going to be over the Luxury Tax threshold which means that this contract will most likely cost them closer to $30 million

    Comment by Evan — October 31, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  6. dave9000 read my mind.

    if you were a GM would it be worth overpaying for a closer so your better relief pitcher could be used in higher leverage situations.

    obviously it would be better not counting saves as a state and hiring a manager who agreed, but that might be too radical and for the fans so you keep face with a high priced closer since that’s what “good teams do to win”

    Comment by jacob — October 31, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  7. The problem with putting league in a fixed role is that he’s terrible vs lefties and you’re forcing him to pitch against whoever is up in the 9th rather than using him when he is most effective. He basically has the stats of a righty specialist.

    Comment by mike — October 31, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  8. Overpaying for a lesser player to make it seem like you care about a thing old school baseball fans think is important to ensure your better reliever remains underpaid enough to stick into the most high leverage spots so you can satisfy new school fans (and actually get the job done better) whilst not offending the old guard.

    I love that this is still a thing. Seriously baseball, you are weird sometimes.

    Comment by Dreamin — October 31, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  9. I would not put it past Agent Ned. Coletti is looking at Randy Choate as a FA, Scott Elbert and their new draftee Steven Rodriguez as his potential left handers in the pen. Running out of ways to spend money on the diamond, why not light the beacon for Affeldt. I give this theory some credence.

    Comment by Shankbone — October 31, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

  10. So National League League may be better than American League League?

    Comment by Phrozen — October 31, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  11. Approximately one year from now Clayton Kershaw is going to sign the wealthiest contract for a pitcher in MLB history. I can’t even imagine the numbers. Talk about being in the right place at the right time…!

    Comment by Marcat — October 31, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  12. “Dodgers sign Kershaw for 10 years/$240m, plus agree to take on Carl Crawford’s salary for a second time. After being informed that they had already taken Crawford’s salary on board the prior year, the Dodgers vowed to just take the money and tie it to a weight, then drop it into the sea.”

    Comment by B N — October 31, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  13. This is the only silver lining I can think of. But knowing NedCo and Donnie Baseball, they aren’t going to do this intentionally.

    Comment by bawfuls — October 31, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

  14. More likely that Ned is a sleeper-agent for the Giants.

    Comment by bawfuls — October 31, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  15. I was thinking League and Matt Lindstrom are fairly similar, but Lindstrom’s $4MM option gets declined. Even assuming the Dodgers went overboard, it seems like this set a market for the DBacks to pick up the option and trade him if they don’t want him.

    Comment by mr33 — October 31, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  16. I see your point – and it’s not without merit – but if that is the organization’s actual thought process, it seems silly that the team wouldn’t just forget about the save stat altogether.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — October 31, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  17. Not to whore my own work but … I’m gonna whore my own work.

    I think they did change him mechanically, I just question the logic of people assuming the change is permanent.

    Comment by Chad Moriyama — November 1, 2012 @ 12:34 am

  18. Jonah Keri had a nice article on how the Dodgers are playing a different game than everyone else:

    It’s not about WAR/$ but about WAR/roster spot. The question then is given the spot they are trying to fill, namely someone who can be the closer but will not complain too much if they set up for Jansen instead, could they have gotten a better player?

    Comment by Zak Hendsch — November 1, 2012 @ 6:21 am

  19. Man, look at those Dodgers. This is really bad for baseball.

    Comment by Hal Steinbrenner — November 1, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  20. There is also the not unlikely scenario where the save situation is also high leverage.

    Comment by payroll — November 1, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  21. Who knows? Matt Kemp’s extension early last offseason looked huge, but then Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols signed contracts that blew it out of the water. I think Fielder is at the same level as Kemp, so in comparison, the Dodger saved money by spending money.

    Comment by Bip — November 1, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  22. Also, Ned Colletti aside, I’m curious if the Dodgers are going to tend to overpay because players know that they have the money to do it, or if they’ll get discounts from players who want to play for a contender more than they want the extra money.

    Comment by Bip — November 1, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  23. Back when I still glanced at box scores in newspapers, the Blue Jays employed both League as a reliever and Dave Bush as a starter so occasionally the pitching line read:

    Comment by joser — November 1, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  24. For that to work, the Dodgers first have to demonstrate on the field they’re actually a contender. As we’ve seen, spending a lot of money and making a lot of noise in the offseason doesn’t necessarily, or at least automatically, translate to playing in the postseason

    Comment by joser — November 1, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  25. I wonder if League’s biggest mechanical adjustment was pitching to a catcher who can block balls in the dirt, giving him the confidence to throw his splitter in more situations (and also thereby getting a better feel for it).

    Comment by joser — November 1, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  26. But playing in the postseason doesn’t make a team a contender. A team is a contender based on its probability of making the playoffs at any particular point in the season. Given how the Dodgers are constructed, at this point their chances are among the best in the NL. Of course that probability will be adjusted as the season begins and games are played, but free agents are going to be signed before that point.

    Comment by Bip — November 1, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  27. Is Colletti the worst GM in baseball?

    Comment by JT — November 1, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  28. payroll,

    That’s true, but in a high leverage save situation you would still put your best reliever in the game. I may have not clarified this, but the point would be to let leverage determine reliever usage rather than a save situation.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — November 1, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

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