The Texas Rangers have agreed to sign left-handed starting pitcher Andrew Heaney on a two-year deal, our Jim Bowden confirms. It is worth $25 million, but that could escalate to $37 million with incentives. Heaney also has an opt-out clause after 2023.
Heaney, 31, has shown flashes of upside through much of his MLB career, but he's far too often been derailed by injuries. In 72 2/3 innings for the Dodgers last season -- sporting a variation of a breaking ball called a "sweeper" -- Heaney had a 3.10 ERA (136 ERA+) and 1.09 WHIP with 110 strikeouts against only 19 walks.
He looked like an ace for a good number of those starts, but he also dealt with shoulder injuries for a big portion of the season. Heaney also had Tommy John surgery in 2016 and has battled elbow and shoulder injuries often in his nine-year career.
Heaney is the second starter the Rangers have signed in the last week. The Rangers made one of the biggest splashes of free agency so far when they landed Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom on a five-year, $185 million deal last week.
Right now, the Rangers' rotation looks something like this:
- Jacob deGrom, RHP
- Andrew Heaney, LHP
- Jon Gray, RHP
- Martín Pérez, LHP
- Jake Odorizzi, RHP
Right hander Dane Dunning provides depth as the sixth starter. Fellow righties Glenn Otto and Spencer Howard along with southpaw Cole Ragans would come next in some order.
The Rangers ranked 25th in rotation ERA last season, but the additions of deGrom and Heaney significantly bolster the unit. In a best-case scenario, there are three potential All-Stars there ahead of Pérez, who actually was an All-Star last season. There's an awful lot of injury risk in there, too, of course, so a worst-case scenario looks pretty ugly.
Credit the Rangers for the continued aggression on the free agent market. Last offseason, they added two mega-contracts in Marcus Semien and Corey Seager while also signing Gray. This time around, it's deGrom and Heaney so far.
The Rangers were 68-94 last year, good for fourth in the AL West, but there's a path to contention if things break right with this group and there's also still plenty of offseason left to continue shaping the roster.