General manager Ned Colletti said Link has a chance to make the Major League club next year as a reliever. Ely, a starter, will probably open the season at Triple-A.
The 26-year-old Link saved 13 games at Triple-A in 2009, when he was 1-2 with a 3.99 ERA as a reliever, striking out 66 but walking 27 in 56 1/3 innings. He's known as a hard thrower who has encountered control troubles for most of his seven professional seasons. He has gone 17-15 with a 3.87 ERA (126 ER/ 293 IP) and 67 saves over five Minor League seasons in the San Diego (2005-07) and White Sox (2007-09) organizations.
Pierre has two years remaining on his contract for a total of $18.5 million in salary, of which the Dodgers will pay $10.5 million, with the White Sox paying $8 million. The primary purpose of the deal for the Dodgers was to provide some payroll relief to redirect toward obtaining a starting pitcher.
The Dodgers also reportedly signed outfielder Brian Barton to a Minor League contract. He played 82 games for St. Louis in 2008 and had a one-game appearance in 2009 for Atlanta.