The Los Angeles Dodgers declined the options of Jon Garland and Casey Blake yesterday. Instead of exercising their 2012 options, the Dodgers will buyout Garland and Blake, who are set to become free agents this winter.
Garland was brought in this offseason to become an innings guy for the Dodgers rotation. Over his nine seasons as a full time starting pitcher, Garland had averaged more than 30 starts and 190 innings pitched per year. Garland had also never made a trip to the disabled list during his Major League career.
While he seemed like a safe bet to produce more of the same, especially following his successful 2010 campaign with the Padres, Garland was able to make only nine starts this season before hitting the disabled list for the first time.
News on Garland’s inflamed throwing shoulder grew worse, and the 31-year-old was finally forced to undergo season-ending surgery in July. Garland’s rehab is going well, and he is hoping to begin a throwing program in November. Garland is confident that he will be ready to go for Spring Training.
Blake, who was acquired in 2008 from the Cleveland Indians for top catching prospect Carlos Santana, entered 2011 as the Dodgers everyday third baseman. However, injuries severely cut into Blake’s season, limiting him to only 63 games. Blake was finally shutdown at the end of August due to a neck problem that required surgery.
Like Garland, Blake says that he will continue playing, and is aiming to be ready for next spring. On the year, Blake hit at a clip of .252/.342/.371 with 15 extra base hits and 26 RBI’s.
To buy out Blake’s option, the Dodgers are paying the 38-year-old $1.25 million. Garland’s buyout cost LA $500,000.
For more on the Dodgers, be sure to check out Lasorda’s Lair.