The Dodgers are busy rebuilding the bullpen on the eve of spring training 2024.

It was a busy Monday morning for the Dodgers who completed a trade with the Yankees and bolstered their bullpen with a free agent signing.

First, the club announced that it was sending LHP Caleb Ferguson to the New York Yankees in a three player swap that netted LA lefty reliever Matt Gage and righty pitching prospect Christian Zazueta. Shortly after the trade, reports surfaced saying free agent RHP Ryan Brasier would be returning to the Dodgers on a two-year deal.

So, a lot to unpack here. First, Ferguson was someone I identified as an offseason trade candidate a few months back. After a nice start in 2023, he struggled with consistency over the final few months of the season and seemed to fall out of favor with manager Dave Roberts by the time October rolled around. Ferguson has also never been exceptional at getting lefty hitters out (he actually has reverse splits over his career), so his role in the upcoming season was looking less and less clear as spring training nears.

With the Yankees, he may have an opportunity to work his way back into a starting pitching role, something he’s made clear over the years that he still wants to do. But, more importantly he gets a fresh start as his free agency looms.

With Ferg out, Brasier returns on a two-year deal worth as much as $13 million with performance escalators. The Dodgers have been oft-linked to a reunion with the veteran Brasier who was exceptional after signing with LA in the middle of last season.

He posted a 0.70 ERA over 39 games and helped solidify what had been a very rocky bullpen in 2023. Now he returns as a guy who can get all-handed batters out but also dominated left-handed hitters last season holding them to a .653 OPS in 101 plate appearances with the Red Sox and Dodgers.

The Brasier signing will likely not be announced by the team until Thursday at the earliest.

What Prospects Did the Dodgers Acquire Today?

As for the other guys the Dodgers picked up today, Matt Gage is a 30-year-old left-hander (he turns 31 this weekend) who has posted decent numbers in a small sample size of big league action in 2022 and 2023 (1.83 ERA in 16 career games and 19.2 IP but walks are an issue). At this point, he’s certainly not considered a prospect by any means, but with minor league options left, he’s someone who could play a role for the Dodgers as insurance at the Triple-A level.

He’s bounced around since being drafted by the Giants in 2014, pitching for six different MLB organizations, most recently the Houston Astros. Gage also spent time pitching in Indy ball and the Mexican League over his career.

Christian Zazueta is a 19-year-old right-handed pitching prospect who has started 20 Dominican Summer League games over the last two years for the Yankees. Admittedly, there’s not all that much info online about the kid. But… you have to feel like any time the Dodgers want a random name you’ve never heard of, it’ll turn out to be a good move for LA.

Final Thoughts

All in all a net-positive day for the Los Angeles Dodgers front office. They bring back a veteran presence they loved in Ryan Braiser. They added a lefty pitcher with some upside as organizational depth (one note, he will be on the 40-man roster and taking Ferguson’s spot). And they bring in a young, moldable pitching prospect to fill out the lower levels of the minor leagues.

Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch this week.

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Clint Pasillas
Clint Pasillas is owner and Editor in Chief of He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008 and was the Lead Editor at Dodgers Nation as well as Inside the Dodgers, Halos Today, and Inside the Padres, all under the Sports Illustrated umbrella. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!