LA Dodgers get bullpen help with trade for Orioles' reliever Ryan Webb

April 9, 2015

The Los Angeles Dodgers addressed one of the team's greatest needs today, getting another arm for their questionable bullpen by trading for right-handed pitcher Ryan Webb and minor league catcher Brian Ward from the Baltimore Orioles, in exchange for minor league catcher Chris O’Brien and minor league pitcher Ben Rowen.

In addition, the team announced the acquisition of a Rule 4 competitive balance round B draft pick (No. 74).

The bullpen was a major reason behind the team's undoing in the postseason last year, and was weakened even further this season with the temporary loss of closer Kenley Jansen due to surgery.

Webb, 29, was 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 51 relief appearances for Baltimore last season, and has appeared in 317 career games (all in relief) for the Padres (2009-10), Marlins (2011-13), and Orioles (2014). He will be added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.

Ward, a local Santa Monica native, appeared in 65 games for Triple-A Norfolk last season, hitting .227 with two homers and 20 RBI.

O’Brien and Rowen were both invited to Spring Training this year as non-roster players. O’Brien was selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2011 player draft and Rowen was signed on Jan. 20.

With the acquisition of the Orioles’ Rule 4 competitive balance pick, the Dodgers now hold four of the first 74 picks (No. 24, No. 35, No. 67, and No. 74) in the upcoming June player draft.

Jackie Robinson Day details announced

In addition to today's trade news, Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers announced details for the upcoming 2015 Civil Rights Game on Jackie Robinson Day between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, April 15th.

“On behalf of our family and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Major League Baseball for honoring Jack’s historic achievements and his fight for equality both on and off the ball field,” said Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie Robinson and the founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.  “In recognizing Jack’s accomplishments, it is my hope that this commemoration inspires future generations towards impactful service within their own communities and beyond.”

Rachel Robinson will play a central role in a first-pitch ceremony, which also will feature Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, Dodgers Legend Don Newcombe, Joni Campanella (Roy’s daughter), and scholars from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.  Actor and multi-platinum Grammy nominated artist, Tyrese Gibson, will perform the National Anthem.

As part of the festivities, Dodgers owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will receive the 2015 MLB Beacon Awards, which recognize individuals whose lives and actions have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement.

In addition, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will receive a special award in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of him becoming Baseball’s first African-American manager.  Robinson managed his first game for the Cleveland Indians on April 8, 1975.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson signing his first professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945, which was the first step toward his eventual breaking of the color barrier on April 15, 1947.

Fittingly, Robinson’s guiding life tenet was “a life is not important except in its impact on other lives.”

By Staff of and news services

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