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Dodgers Sign Matt Guerrier To Three-Year, $12 Million Contract

The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their offseason quest to acquire as much pitching as humanly possible, agreeing to terms with reliever Matt Guerrier, formerly of the Minnesota Twins, on a three-year deal worth $12 million. Guerrier was a Type A free agent but, because he was not offered arbitration by the Twins, the Dodgers will not lose their 2011 second-round draft pick as compensation. This offseason, the Dodgers have signed pitchers Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla, and now Guerrier.

The 32-year old right-hander was 5-7 with a 3.17 ERA for the Twins last season, appearing in 74 games. Guerrier has appeared in at least 73 games in each of the last four seasons, and his 302 total games pitched in the last four years is second in MLB only to left-handed specialist Pedro Feliciano. Guerrier has seen his strikeout rate decline in the last two seasons, from 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 2008 to 5.5 in 2009, then 5.3 in 2010. His career strikeout rate is 5.9 whiffs per nine innings.

The Dodgers payroll is now estimated to be roughly $110 million, including salary deferrals. The deal isn't yet official, as Guerrier will have to first pass a physical. In addition, the Dodgers currently have 40 players on their 40-man roster, meaning they will have to remove a player to make room for Guerrier. The most likely roster casualty will be John Lindsey, 16-year minor league veteran who finally received his major league cup of coffee in September.

For more Dodgers winter meetings news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.