Randy Choate, 36, reliever
Final 2012 stats: 0-0, 3.03 ERA, one save, 1.22 WHIP, .206 opponent batting average, 80 games and 38 2/3 innings.
Contract status: Free agent.
The good: His 80 games tied three others for the most relief appearances in the majors. He had a 2.12 ERA against left-handed batters, who hit just .159 against him. He is still very good as a specialist against left-handed hitters, and allowed runs in only one of his last 13 appearances and had a 2.89 ERA in his last 30 appearances (9 1/3 innings).
The bad: Had a 9.82 ERA with runners in scoring position. Performed better last season with the Marlins (2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) than with the Dodgers (4.05, 1.65) after coming over July 25 with Hanley Ramirez via trade with Miami.
What’s next: General Manager Ned Colletti said shortly after the season he would like to re-sign Choate. They would prefer at least two left-handed relievers in the bullpen, and left-hander Scott Elbert finished the season on the disabled list with a sore elbow.
The take: Choate did not blow people away, but he did his job for the most part, normally coming in to face a lone left-handed batter. The Dodgers need somebody in that role, and may be uncertain if they can fully count on a healthy Elbert. And two lefties is highly preferable.
His signing is not the same priority as the others Colletti is facing, but he’ll get around to this situation soon. He made a career-high $1.5 million last season and has earned only $5.2 million for his career, so he’ll be back somewhere.
Left-handers never die, anyway, and Choate appears to have some good years left. He also led the majors in appearance in 2010 (85 games). Figures to be back in L.A. unless the Dodgers unexpectedly uncover a superior left-handed reliever.