Dodgers sign former first-round pick who hasn't pitched in MLB since 2020

CTBC Brothers v Rakuten Monkeys - Taiwan Series Game 1
CTBC Brothers v Rakuten Monkeys - Taiwan Series Game 1 / Gene Wang/GettyImages

Prepare to be underwhelmed yet again, Los Angeles Dodgers fans! The team has made another signing, but it's of the minor-league variety and it's someone who hasn't pitched in Major League Baseball since the pandemic-shortened campaign.

On Friday, Fabian Ardaya reported that the Dodgers had signed Dylan Covey and gave him a non-roster invite to spring training. The right-hander just wrapped up two years overseas in China with the Rakuten Monkeys.

Across 33 starts, he finished 16-10 with a 3.63 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 198.1 innings. It's unclear where he might fit into the Dodgers plans since that's not exactly impressive for deemphasized competition. His last stint in MLB came with the Boston Red Sox in 2020. He lasted just 14 innings that year after registering a 7.07 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.

Once regarded as a promising talent, Covey, now 31, was a first-round draft selection of the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2010. But he turned down the money, opted to go to college, and dropped to the fourth round (taken by the Oakland Athletics) in 2013.

You might remember him best from his Chicago White Sox days. They gave him the most run, and perhaps allowed him to overstay his welcome. From 2017-2019, Covey appeared in 63 games (45 starts) for Chicago and compiled a 6-29 record with a 6.54 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.

Dodgers sign former first-round pick Dylan Covey to minor-league deal

Covey's "best" season came in 2018, when he appeared in 27 games (21 starts), totaling 121.2 innings. Unfortunately, his statcast page was mostly blue outside of his fastball velocity and barrel percentage.

As recently as 2020 with the Red Sox, he boasted a five-pitch arsenal (slider, four-seam fastball, sinker, changeup and curveball) despite the offerings largely failing him (only his changeup yielded positive results).

Maybe that's the solution here, though? Toss him in the bullpen cut his arsenal down to two or three pitches in hopes he can emphasize what works best? We'll see how it pans out this spring, but crazier things have happened when the Dodgers take shots in the dark like this.

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