GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When J.P. Howell saw that his gear had been removed from his locker and relocated to a laundry cart in the middle of the clubhouse Friday, he knew Joel Peralta had reported to Spring Training.
"That's about the 10th time he's gotten me," Howell said of Peralta, his teammate in Kansas City, Tampa Bay and now in the Dodgers' bullpen.
"The first time he did it, I thought I was traded. It wasn't funny. But this time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was him. As soon as we traded for him, I thought about doing it to him. He beat me."
Howell said the Dodgers improved the bullpen and the clubhouse with the acquisition of Peralta, dealt by Tampa Bay with lefty Adam Liberatore for pitchers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.
"He's my favorite kind a guy. He's a bulldog," Howell said. "He didn't get to the big leagues until he was 29. A lot of guys would have quit and now he's on his 11th year. I really look up to him."
Howell said the acquisition reflects the thought that Andrew Friedman, their boss in Tampa Bay and again in Los Angeles, puts into building a roster. Now, however, he has the financial wherewithal of the Guggenheim Baseball juggernaut.
"At Tampa Bay, Andrew was able to use obstacles to our advantage," Howell said. "He finds a way to get the job done, to fill a hole and plug a gap. He's honest. To him, trust and integrity are huge. When I got sent down, they told me exactly why, no eyewash. They tell you straight-up. They helped me grow as a human being and without him I wouldn't be here today."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.