Dodgers faced competition for ‘breakout’ candidate from NL Central foe
This should not shock you based on all the rumblings we’ve heard this offseason, but the Dodgers were not the only team to show significant interest in Andrew Heaney prior to the lockout (and despite his abhorrent numbers in pinstripes in 2021).
It’s quite possible, though, that the Dodgers were the only team to be willing to pay the $8.5 million price tag it ultimately took to woo Heaney, considering how quickly he signed on and joined their infrastructure once it was offered.
The mercurial left-hander was basically the first player off the board, agreeing to a one-year contract in LA in hopes that a full offseason in the Dodgers’ pitching factory would benefit him more than slapdash second half in the Yankees‘ system.
Will it work? We have our doubts; if the peripherals haven’t translated by now in any capacity, who’s to believe they will this summer? Every organization wants to be the savior, but none have figured it out so far given ample opportunity.
Which brings us to the Cincinnati Reds, who reportedly wanted to make Heaney their next Wade Miley this fall before the Dodgers stepped in and outbid them.
Frankly, we almost have more belief that that would’ve worked? Cincy has more recent evidence of turning around a soft-tossing lefty than LA’s staff does.
Did the Dodgers steal Andrew Heaney from the Reds?
Hilariously, this would’ve been Cincinnati’s only pre-lockout MLB move if they’d been able to secure Heaney’s services. As of now, the Reds’ transaction wire is entirely empty.
We know it feels that way in Hollywood, too, but imagine taking both Heaney and Chris Taylor off LA’s board? That’s where the Reds sit right now, with several months of slumber still ahead of them. Brutal.
Though, if you ask our sister Reds site, it looks like they’re happier to have passed than to have waded in the pool.
The junk-balling Miley, now with the Chicago Cubs, was worth 5.9 WAR last season in Cincinnati, striking out just 125 men in 163 innings pitched but carrying a 3.37 ERA to the finish line.
Of course, Miley’s a soft-tosser. Heaney has a livelier fastball with a high spin rate, but has never found nearly enough success with it to justify all the repeated tinkering and tunneling attempts.
Could the Reds have saved him using their lefty blueprint? Or was the 2021 season just Miley Being Miley? It’s up to LA to unlock Heaney’s puzzle now, since they were willing to open their checkbook just a little further, so we’ll never know what could’ve been.