Dodgers make deal with lefty Howell

The Los Angeles Dodgers, continuing to bolster their bullpen, announced a deal with free-agent left-hander J.P. Howell.

The contract will be for one year and $2.85 million, according to reports. The Los Angeles Times first said that Howell and the Dodgers were closing in on an agreement.

Howell, 29, spent the past six seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, missing all of 2010 and the first seven weeks in ’11 after undergoing shoulder surgery. But he was healthy all of last season, and produced a 3.04 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 22 walks in 50 1/3 innings.

Earlier this offseason, the Dodgers lost free-agent lefty Randy Choate to the St. Louis Cardinals. Another of their left-handed relievers, Scott Elbert, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on Sept. 19.