By Tim Polzer
January 05, 2013

The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to signing left-handed reliever J.P. Howell to a one-year contract according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.'s Buster Olney reports Howell's deal will be worth just under $3 million in base salary.

The Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals were reportedly interested in Howell during the offseason.

Howell, 29, would fill the void in the Dodgers bullpen created when Randy Choate signed a three-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals last month.

After missing all of the 2010 season and part of 2011 with a shoulder injury, Howell finished with a 3.04 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 50 1/3 innings for the Rays in 2012. He was particularly effective against left-handed hitters in 2012, holding them to a .200/.306/.306 batting line with a 52.4% ground ball rate.

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