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Really, it's OK: Dodgers re-sign reliever Mike MacDougal

January 5, 2012 |  2:23 pm

Mike-macdougal_300The Dodgers have re-signed reliever Mike MacDougal to a one-year deal for $650,000 with an option for 2013, and don’t go and get your I-just-sucked-a-lemon face on.

MacDougal proved a very useful, mostly reliable setup man in 2011. And that rare Dodgers veteran who remained healthy all season.

The popular refrain about MacDougal from last season is how horribly deceptive his 2.04 ERA was because he was truly so abysmal in preventing inherited runners from scoring. Which isn’t completely true, at least in terms of inherited runners.

Which is not to say it was sterling, but neither was it as horrific as memory tries to serve. MacDougal allowed 33.3% of his inherited runners to score, slightly above the 30.0% league average.

Few relievers, however, inherited more runners – 51, sixth highest in the National League – so when 17 came home, it still seemed like a lot. On the season with runners in scoring position, batters hit just .157 against MacDougal.

And since the Dodgers’ bullpen is loaded with youth – Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert, Josh Lindblom – they could use another veteran along with Matt Guerrier and Blake Hawksworth.

MacDougal was a non-roster invitee last season, so anything positive the team received from him was something of a bonus. He came relatively cheaply at $500,000.

Having somewhat rebuilt his career, he no doubt was looking for a bump. The club opiton for next season is $2.35 million with a $350,000 buyout, meaning his one-year deal will really earn him $1 million next season, which sadly seems the norm these days. It at least beats the two-year deals being thrown around this winter. And right now it's hard to believe the Dodgers would pick up the option at that price.

MacDougal is mostly a middle-innings eater, who despite that glossy ERA still had a fairly fat 1.46 WHIP. He’ll turn 35 in two months and his best days clearly are behind him, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for him in 2012. Sure beats Ramon Troncosco.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers reliever Mike MacDougal is congratulated by catcher Dioner Navarro after a victory over the White Sox in an interleague game last season. Credit: Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

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