Dodgers sign yet another former Rays star, straight out of stint in Japan

Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / Hannah Foslien/GettyImages

Not satisfied with JP Feyereisen, the ex-Rays reliever who won't be available for the vast majority of the 2023 season, the Dodgers went far and wide to find the next former Tampa Bay arm who'd join their ranks.

Matt Andriese, the 33-year-old who you may have lost track of since his halcyon days with the Rays, agreed to a minor-league deal with the Dodgers on Tuesday night. He'll report to spring training in an attempt to rise through the ranks and get out of spending time in Oklahoma City.

Andriese's last MLB action came in 2021 with the Seattle Mariners (11 successful innings with a 2.45 ERA) after struggling to start the season in Boston (37.1 innings, 6.03 ERA).

But during the intervening year, he followed a successful path recently blazed by hurlers like Merrill Kelly and Miles Mikolas, transitioning to Japan to rehabilitate his value and uncover new wrinkles in his arsenal.

Andriese posted a 2.86 ERA last season with the Yomiuri Giants, the same legendary franchise that embraced Mikolas and turned his career arc around. Now 33, Andriese will likely throw his next MLB pitch for the big-league team with the most vaunted pitching development program in the game. Not a bad spot to land.

Los Angeles Dodgers sign pitcher Matt Andriese of Rays, Red Sox, Japanese baseball

Andriese's best work (so far) came at the start of his big-league career, when the crafty righty posted an 8-8 record and 4.37 ERA in 19 starts (29 games) and 127.2 innings for the 2016 Rays.

He's not a high strikeout guy ... but neither are Mikolas and Kelly. He's not an overpowering right-handed fireballer ... but neither are Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney.

At some point, the Rays decided they could recreate Andriese in the aggregate or eclipse his contributions from within the farm system. At the end of the 2021 season, Andriese realized he needed to take a risk to continue his ascent in the game. Nobody knows how long his Dodgers tenure will last, but he's surely better equipped to survive in the organization than he would've been after his time in Boston.

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