Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' J.P. Howell agrees to join Los Angeles Dodgers

Left-handed reliever J.P. Howell said at the end of last season — his sixth in Tampa Bay — that he hoped to come back.

"That's my No. 1 choice, ever," he said.

But Howell's tenure with the Rays came to a close Saturday as he agreed to a one-year deal with the Dodgers. He will earn $2.85 million, plus $1.2 million in performance bonuses, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

Howell has been a key, and color­ful, part of the Rays bullpen since the 2008 season, when the converted starter helped spark the team's improbable World Series run. Tampa Bay had remained interested in retaining Howell, but the 29-year-old had several other suitors this offseason, including the Nationals.

Howell's departure, along with those of B.J. Upton, Carlos Peña and James Shields this offseason, leaves Ben Zobrist as the last remaining Devil Ray on the current team.

Howell, who overcame a 2010 surgery on his left shoulder, appeared to return to form last season, when he had a 3.04 ERA in 55 appearances and set a franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings (27⅓).

The Rays are still looking to add to their bullpen. Even without Howell, they plan to have two lefty relievers, Jake McGee and likely Cesar Ramos, who is out of options. Pitching coach Jim Hickey has said Ramos can pitch multiple innings and fare well against both righties and lefties, like Howell did.

Howell, whose unique personality fit in well in the clubhouse, reflected after the season how much he enjoyed his time in Tampa Bay.

"This is the place to be, hands-down," he said. "This is the No. 1 place to be. It used to be the Yankees, Red Sox. But the freedom you have here, and the team chemistry, and the guys and the front office and (manager Joe Maddon) and the coaching staff, hands-down the best. I don't know how you can surpass it."

Around the majors

RIVERA TO THROW: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is coming back from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, plans to start his offseason throwing program next week, espn.com reported. Rivera, 43, said his knee is about "95 percent" recovered.

RANGERS ADD BERKMAN: The Rangers agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with first baseman/DH Lance Berkman, espn.com reported. Berkman, 36, had two surgeries on his right knee last season, limiting him to 32 games with the Cardinals.

WILLIS TO CUBS: The Cubs are closing in on a minor-league deal with left-hander Dontrelle Willis, 30, the 2005 NL rookie of the year who has struggled ever since.

Information from times wires was used in this report.

Rays' J.P. Howell agrees to join Los Angeles Dodgers 01/05/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing

    Bucs

    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  5. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)