Relievers are weird. For proof, just ask Blake Treinen. One year, Treinen is the best reliever in baseball. The next, he’s below replacement-level and gets non-tendered, though he still landed a relatively lucrative payday after signing with the Dodgers.
The reason teams remained interested in Treinen at all, let alone at a price above his arbitration projection, was because of his stuff. As Ben Clemens chronicled, Treinen’s stuff experienced a hiccup in 2019, but it was so good in 2018 that a $10 million gamble made plenty of sense. In baseball, stuff sells, and if Treinen can prove to still have the 2018 version of his one-seam fastball somewhere in his back pocket, Los Angeles will be quite pleased with the signing.
That brings me to Yimi García. He’s not a household name — you probably know him if you’re a Dodgers fan, or if you happened to sort the leaderboard of 2019 relief pitchers by HR/9 in descending order. (Yikes, Edwin Díaz.) The Dodgers non-tendered García, who had been projected to earn $1.1 million in arbitration. The Marlins picked him up on Thursday, signing him to a one-year, major league deal; his salary is not yet known.