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Dodgers: Andrew Heaney Shares What Drew him to LA in Free Agency



The Dodgers made an unexpected splash in the free agent market last week with the signing of pitcher Andrew Heaney. What made it perhaps more unexpected is the fact that LA brought in a pitcher who posted an ERA close to 6 (5.83) in 30 games last season. However, there is usually a method to the madness for these Dodgers.

That method being exploring untapped upside in pitchers.

Last week, Andrew Friedman talked about that at the annual general managers meetings.

“We think there’s real upside with Andrew. He’s got a lot of good things in place. We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think there was some real upside that we can tap into, and we’ll see as we get into the season. … He’s got really strong ingredients in place. We think we can get him to a place where he’s one of five on a championship-caliber team, and there’s some real upside.

Heaney has mostly worked on a three pitch mix over his career. Fastball, changeup, curveball. Notably, the spin rate of his fastball is in the upper-echelon of big league pitchers, which is something Dodgers talent evaluators usually focus in on. And the team has had recent successes with, at the time, under-the-radar acquisitions like Alex Vesia and Garrett Cleavinger who are also high spin rate guys.

On Friday, Heaney touched a bit on conversations he had with the front office before signing that pointed to the homework already done on the left-hander.

“I’m excited because I think there’s some really low-hanging fruit, but I also understand some of the things they want me to do I think are going to be a bit more difficult and some stuff that I’m going to have to really buckle down and work hard this offseason to not just do one or two times but to be able to consistently do every single time I take the mound.”

Heaney won’t likely be the marquee move made by the Dodgers this offseason, but if all goes according to plan, he’ll be a massively important piece to the team’s success in 2022.

Andrew Heaney Talks Why He Chose Dodgers & How LA is Helping Him Improve Mechanics

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Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Scherzer, Kershaw, Robbie Ray, Gausman, Rodon, Verlander– yes to signing any of these at the price it will take to sign any one or two [or even three] of them. No to Heaney. Mitch White, Andre Jackson, if really needed, are likely to outperform Heaney’s projections [80 innings?? 5.0 ERA??] for 1/12th the cost. Also, if they only sign 2 of these starters, consider the possibility of a bullpen game every fifth game. They have the arms in the bullpen to do it. Just allow some of those relievers used in bullpen games to go 2 innings at a time. In other words, 6 innings per start from (1) Scherzer, (2) Buehler, (3) Urias, (4) Kershaw [or Ray, or Gausman, or Rodon, if Kershaw can’t go] and then a bullpen game, then repeat. Add Dustin May in September to that plan. Everyone on the mound at all times should be equal to a number 1 starter [the relievers are pretty much that good; collectively, look at their ERAs]. Even Gonsolin is really good, if he does not have to go more than 2 innings at a time. Heaney is a waste of $8 million.

  2. I like the upside on Heaney. Maybe Friedman has struck again. He has been extremely solid in picking “the low hanging fruit”. Aone year deal does not break the bank.

    • I agree with you Wayne, Heaney was projected to be a high end starter when he first came up and I too think AF has struck again. We need arms and this young man has potential. Plus he is ready to learn and listen. Talked about some of the things the Dodgers proposed to him that he had never considered. He is not going out there expecting to win the Cy Young, but doing a good job for the Dodgers. I know some of you dudes are going to say that they all “say the right things at first interview”, but this kid could be a big bonus for the Dodgers staff. He was positive and his attitude is where it needs to be. All he needs to do is live up to the potential he has always had.

      • No Doubt Paul, same with the many other under utlilized players , and burned up Arms of the past and not so distant future. What would really alarm me if I were a free agent thinking about coming to the Metric/Analytic computer model Dodgers, is becoming Hot and in a groove, then Drrrrrrrr sits you down and brings in his Mckinney , Hoese, Souza platoon of nothingness and 165 B.Avg’s……Then excusing the inept decision by claiming he’s resting you. I think more times than not he does it on command from the FO to stunt incentive opportunities. I’m trying my hardest to give Drrrrr some kind of reasoning to explain his headscratching Drrrrrr moments..

          • Hey Paul, I think everyone that posts has their post deleted once in a while. Puzzling on some. Seriously

          • Oh c’mon Paul….you go after Beth whenever you can. As I said…give her a break with your corrections….as in when Scoscia was manager. I still think that you are related to DF4L as he suddenly disappeared and your writing style is very similar. Please forgive if I a wrong about that, but I definitely have noticed how you go after Beth.

  3. Look at Bayside calling the kettle black!!! Paul has been on this board for at least 4 yrs Bayside. Bayside is brand new by the way, as is Fresh Prince… Paul isn’t psycho sematic with more than one identity like The Mods and writers on this site are, pathetic sometimes..

  4. I did not like this move at first. $8 million is strong money to lay down on a guy who had a 5.83 ERA in 2021. That said, Friedman and his lieutenants are way smarter than I am. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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