The Los Angeles Dodgers, who entered this offseason with several holes to fill on their pitching staff, signed Andrew Heaney to a one-year contract worth $8.5 million, sources confirmed to ESPN on Monday.
Heaney, a 30-year-old left-handed starter, spent the bulk of the past seven years with the crosstown Angels, posting a 4.67 ERA with nearly four times as many strikeouts as walks in 605 innings.
Heaney spent most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery but has since made only three relatively short trips to the injured list. His ERA ballooned to 5.83 in 129⅔ innings last season, but some of the underlying numbers painted his 2021 season more favorably (most notably an average exit velocity of 89 mph, an expected ERA of 4.03 and a swinging-strike percentage of 13.8).
The Dodgers have only Walker Buehler and Julio Urias returning from the 2021 rotation, though Tony Gonsolin and David Price will also vie for solidified spots. The team is interested in bringing back Max Scherzer, who is poised to sign one of the sport’s richest deals on an annual basis, but will presumably be in play for several big-name free agents and trade candidates.
The Dodgers recently opted against extending an $18.4 million qualifying offer to Clayton Kershaw largely because of the forearm/elbow inflammation that plagued him down the stretch last season. The ailment kept Kershaw from participating in the postseason and has created an air of mystery around his health at the onset of this offseason. If Kershaw is healthy and wants to return to the Dodgers — and if his hometown Texas Rangers aren’t too much of a pull — both sides are expected to work something out.
Heaney, who made $6.75 million last season, was traded to the New York Yankees in July, gave up 13 home runs in 35⅔ innings and spent all of September in a low-leverage bullpen role. He was designated for assignment on Oct. 5 and granted free agency two days later. Because of that, Heaney didn’t have to wait until the official start of free agency — typically five days after the conclusion of the World Series — to speak with prospective suitors. Heaney spoke with multiple teams before deciding on the Dodgers.
The Athletic first reported news of his signing.