The Dodgers once again caught everyone by surprise by inking lefty Andrew Heaney to a one-year deal just over a week ago. Given his struggles in 2021 and a career ERA well north of 4.00, it’s fair to wonder what the team saw in him that garnered giving him an $8.5 million audition.
As usual, however, the Dodgers look at more than just the regular metrics when evaluating their players. They believe in their coaching staff’s ability to help players turn their careers around, and they have the track record to back it up.
Heaney will be a new challenge for this staff, but he seems ready to take it head-on. After his 2021 season ended with being DFA’d by the Yankees at the very end of the season, it was fair to wonder if his time in the majors was coming to an end. Instead, Heaney is getting ready for a new opportunity to revive his career with a team that has a history of helping players just like him.
In a recent interview with SportsNet LA’s John Hartung, Heaney explained how last season’s disappointment would help fuel him in 2022.
I gotta be honest. It was, from a baseball perspective, one of the lower points of my career. Getting DFA’s after getting traded over to an organization like the Yankees making a playoff push, being basically 3 days away from the end of the season, watching those guys hit a walk off single against the Rays in Game 162 to make it to the Wild Card, watching those guys pop champagne while I’m sitting in a hotel room down in Tampa by myself… [it was] extremely disappointing and frankly not something I’m gonna forget. It’s something that’s going to motivate me moving forward.
While Andrew Heaney has never been an ace-caliber starter, he has the talent to be a valuable piece of the Dodgers pitching plans going forward. Strikeouts have never been an issue for the 8-year veteran, as evidenced by his career 9.2 strikeouts per 9 innings. If Mark Prior and the pitching staff can help him keep the ball in the ballpark, the sky is the limit for Heaney as he officially begins his time in Los Angeles.