Chad Billingsley pitched to hitters for two pain-free innings Monday. (Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles…)
Seven Dodgers off their 2012 roster became free agents Monday.
All seven – Bobby Abreu, Joe Blanton, Randy Choate, Adam Kennedy, Brandon League, Shane Victorino and Jamey Wright – could be gone, though the Dodgers are making efforts to bring back all three relievers.
General Manager Ned Colletti told The Times’ Dylan Hernandez last week he was optimistic the Dodgers would be able to re-sign League, who had a 2.30 ERA, six saves and a 2-1 record in 28 games with the Dodgers.
League, 29, had some control issues after first coming over from the Mariners, but allowed only one earned run in his last 21 appearances and finished as the team’s closer.
Wright and the left-handed Choate also performed well in relief roles, and could return. Kennedy and Victorino (who wants to start) look gone.
Blanton could prove the more interesting decision. He was hardly dazzling after coming over from the Phillies (2-4, 4.99 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) at the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline. Clearly, the Dodgers would like to have gotten more out of him.
But with next season’s future of Chad Billingsley still uncertain, and Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang both 34, some rotation assurance is required. Blanton will be 32 in December.
The Dodgers would prefer to solve the rotation depth issue by adding another top-tier pitcher to match with Clayton Kershaw, but those are difficult to come by.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have exclusive negotiating rights with the seven free agents until Nov. 3.
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