Tagged in: Julio Urias

LHP Andrew Heaney headed to Los Angeles Dodgers on 1-year deal

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).

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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 attracted 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.

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Rangers’ Willie Calhoun cleared for activity after fastball to face

Texas Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun has been cleared to restart regular workouts and baseball activities, he announced on Twitter on Thursday.

The 25-year-old suffered a broken jaw after he was hit in the face by a Julio Urias fastball during a spring game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 8.

The left-handed hitting Calhoun was drafted by the Dodgers in 2015, and traded to Texas in July 2017 in a package for Yu Darvish.

Calhoun had a plate surgically inserted into his jaw on March 9, but recently said he planned to be ready for the regular season if it was pushed back to May.

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“I know, if this is pushed back to May, I’m going to be ready,” Calhoun stated on March 17, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. “I want so much to be ready to play on Opening Day. Getting hit and the feeling afterward that I was going to miss Opening Day was the lowest of feelings, even lower than getting sent down last year. I was so excited to have a breakout year. Everything was set up for me to take a deep breath this spring and then really step forward.”

The youngster is expected to be a big part of the Rangers’ lineup this campaign.

He had a breakout campaign in 2019, when he hit 21 home runs and posted an .848 OPS in 83 games.

He is expected to start in left field for the Rangers, who traded outfielders Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara over the winter.

His tweet came on the same day that was scheduled to be opening day before the coronavirus pandemic indefinitely pushed back the start of the MLB season.

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