The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to sign right-handed reliever Sergio Santos to a minor league deal, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith was the first to report that Santos was nearing a deal with an NL West club. The contract is also expected to include incentives and an invite to big league Spring Training.
The 31-year-old Santos, a converted infielder, was disastrous in 2014, notching an 8.57 ERA, 6.04 FIP, 12.4 K/9, and 7.7 BB/9 in 21 innings pitched, being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays twice over the course of the season. He was rather good in a 29-game sample in 2013, posting a 1.75 ERA, 1.84 FIP, 9.8 K/9, and 1.4 BB/9. Santos has been the victim of a litany of shoulder and elbow injuries over the past few years, missing nearly all of the 2012 season with shoulder surgery, and being sidelined for significant periods of time in both 2013 and 2014. For his career, he owns a 3.89 ERA, 3.29 FIP, and 2.5 WAR. He was at his best in 2011 as the White Sox' closer, when he closed out 30 games with a 2.87 FIP.
For the Dodgers, Santos, a Los Angeles native himself, provides the club with additional bullpen depth, and if he can return to pre-injury form, a potential back-end of the bullpen arm. The Dodgers' bullpen placed 26th in the majors in collective WAR this past season, and 22nd in ERA, so it stands to reason that the relief crop was Los Angeles' Achilles heel in 2014. The club has already acquired a number of new names this offseason, including Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio, and Chris Hatcher. The electric Kenley Jansen is currently slated to close, with some combination of Peralta, JP Howell, and Brandon League forming the setup committee.