June 22, 2021

Dodgers Add Latest Pitching Project in Jimmy Nelson (FanGraphs)

It’s not a new insight to point out that the Dodgers decided a few years ago that one helpful thing they can do with all their money is take fliers on a ton of injured or otherwise unreliable starting pitchers, only some of whom will work out. Other teams do this too, of course, but only the Dodgers do it at a scale that leaves their starting pitchers’ depth chart looking quite this crowded year after year:

Jimmy Nelson, row seven, is the newest addition to the Dodgers’ crop of injured arms, as he reportedly signed with Los Angeles for $1.25 million in guaranteed dollars with a litany of incentives and option years (up to $13 million over two years, according to reports). That structure has the effect of capping Nelson’s earnings through the end of 2021 if he comes back healthy — starting pitchers have signed for a median of $8.25 million a year so far this offseason, which puts Nelson’s cap of $6.5 million well below average — while committing the Dodgers to very little guaranteed money in the event Nelson fails to bounce back.

That’s a comedown for Nelson, who put up a 4.8-WAR season as recently as 2017 (eighth among major-league starting pitchers that…

Read “Dodgers Add Latest Pitching Project in Jimmy Nelson” at FanGraphs