Andrew Heaney signs one-year deal with Los Angeles Dodgers
Monday marked the first “real” day of the offseason, and we got a signing on that first day. The Dodgers jumped out early to shore up their rotation, signing lefty Andrew Heaney to a one-year deal worth $8.5 million. For what it’s worth, MLB Trade Rumors had projected a one-year deal worth $6 million for the southpaw.
Heaney, who will be in his age-31 season in 2022, started this past season in Los Angeles, but pitching for the Angels. He had been with L.A. for most of his career, first arriving in 2015 for his second season in the majors. Over the summer, though, he was traded away at the deadline, spending the last portion of the season with the Yankees. In New York, the fly ball pitcher struggled mightily, allowing 13 homers over 35 2⁄3 innings. On the other hand, his peripherals before the trade were solid, striking out 28 percent of his opponents and walking a bit less than eight percent. Homers are always an issue, but the strikeout stuff and control are solid enough to fill a back-end role in the rotation.
For the Dodgers, it’s a relatively cheap move that makes sense for a team that always has good rotation depth at their disposal. As of right now, they are without franchise icon Clayton Kershaw, who is a free agent. They also lost Max Scherzer, who led their rotation after he was acquired in a deadline deal. One or both of those stars could be back, but in the meantime the Dodgers need to hedge a bit with some veteran depth, which is exactly what Heaney provides.
As for a Red Sox impact here, Heaney could have been a possible target. His is certainly not the profile that should match what they’re looking for in their top priorities in the rotation, but they could also use some back-end depth as well and he’s in that tier. That said, the home run issues in this division don’t mix well, as we saw in New York. He wouldn’t have been a terrible signing, but there are better fits out there.
Luis Castillo being talked about in trade
Reds fans are likely in for a long offseason, which was clear when they let Wade Miley go on waivers for nothing. Now, one of their top pitchers is already surfacing in some trade rumors, with reports coming out on Monday that Cincinnati has discussed Luis Castillo with other clubs in trade discussions. Nothing is imminent now and it’s likely this is only the beginning of a long courting process, if he’s dealt at all.
Still, that he’s even available is noteworthy on its own. Castillo is only going to be 29 years old next year, and he’s under control through 2023. The righty got off to a bit of a slow start in 2021 and his overall numbers look more good than great, but he pitched to a 3.18 ERA in the second half, striking out 27 percent of opponents with an eight percent walk rate. This follows two straight outstanding seasons in 2019 and 2020. Given that upside and the two years of control, he will not come cheaply, with the José Berríos trade from last summer likely being a rough template for what this deal could look like.
The Red Sox certainly have a need for a pitcher of Castillo’s caliber, and he could be more interesting than some of the pitchers on the free agent market, many of whom are aging and carry some injury concern. It could also serve as a double whammy, because the Yankees are likely to be involved in conversations as well, giving Boston a chance to block any trade. With more depth at the top of the farm system, the trade package would at least be more palatable. Castillo is projected to earn $7.6 million in 2022.
Arizona Fall League Update
Not a whole lot going on in the desert for Red Sox prospects on Monday, with Triston Casas getting the only appearance of the bunch. He started at first bae for this game, going 2-4 with a couple of singles, two runs, and an RBI. On the more negative side, he also made two errors, both of the fielding variety. Casas has an .883 OPS in the AFL.