MLB free agency just got going, but there's already been a noteworthy signing. The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year deal with left-handed starter Andrew Heaney, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The pact is worth $8.5 million, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
This would be an upside play. Heaney, 30, has at times flashed the potential that at one time made him a first-round pick (ninth overall in 2012 out of Oklahoma State) but has never fully blossomed into the guy who was once a top 25 prospect, per MLB.com.
Heaney is 32-38 with a 4.72 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 650 strikeouts in 634 1/3 career innings. Last season, he had a 5.27 ERA with the Angels in 18 starts before being traded to the Yankees and things got worse. He appeared in 12 games after the deadline deal (five starts) and posted a 7.32 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Perhaps the Dodgers can untap some of his innate talent. They've done it plenty of times before.
Interestingly, Heaney was once a member of the Dodgers for an incredibly brief window. During the 2014 Winter Meetings, he was traded from the Marlins to the Dodgers in a package most known for getting Dee Strange-Gordon to the Marlins while the Dodgers grabbed Kiké Hernández and Austin Barnes. Heaney was almost immediately flipped to the Angels, however, for Howie Kendrick.
Heaney joked about his time with the Dodgers in a tweet that made the rounds again on Monday.
It's difficult to get a grip on what the 2021 Dodgers' rotation might look like. Walker Buehler and Julio Urías are sure things, but that's it. Heaney joins Tony Gonsolin and David Price in the mix where the Dodgers would prefer to knock them down several rungs while also enjoying the depth they provide. Dustin May is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Clayton Kershaw is a free agent who didn't get a qualifying offer. Max Scherzer will be one of the most-coveted free agents on the market. Even if Trevor Bauer is eligible to rejoin the team after facing domestic violence allegations, who knows if the Dodgers even want him back. They don't have any prospects ready to step right into a rotation, either.
The bottom line is that while the Heaney signing adds depth and there is upside, by no means should this be interpreted as anything more than just a minor move.