In my continuing effort to identify pitchers the Cubs might be interested in acquiring for 2023, I came across this part of an article in The Athletic by Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma:
Jameson Taillon and Taijuan Walker are among the pitchers who would fit the criteria. Andrew Heaney is another name to file away as the Cubs were involved in the negotiations before the left-handed pitcher signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Heaney missed significant time in 2022 with shoulder issues, though when on the field his numbers were decent: 3.10 ERA, 1.087 WHIP, 110 strikeouts and only 19 walks in 72⅔ innings.
Wait. How many innings was that again?
72⅔. That’s not even five innings per appearance (16 appearances), and both of his relief outings were four innings each. He threw six innings only twice all year in 2022. And he allowed 14 home runs, which is a lot for that many innings.
So durability is not something the Cubs would likely get from Heaney. Also, he’s got only one season that really qualifies as “decent,” 2018, the only time in his career he’s made 30 starts, and that one wound up as just a 2.0 bWAR year. (Maybe one of the reasons the Angels were so mediocre all that time, they kept waiting for him to break out.)
Heaney made $8.5 million in 2022 with the Dodgers. Fangraphs lists him as the 33rd-best free agent this offseason and estimates he’d be worth $12 million for 2023.
Honestly? In my view that’s way too much for a guy like this who has trouble staying on the field. The Cubs could probably get better performance for less money by just re-signing Drew Smyly, even though Smyly is two years older. Fangraphs does suggest he might work out as a long reliever:
Despite his unpredictability, Heaney is worth another shot. It’s just that whoever signs him shouldn’t expect to radically change who he is. Heaney likely isn’t a pitcher who will last too many innings or necessarily stay put in a rotation, but he is a pitcher who can rack up whiffs in a potential long-relief role if need be.
What say you?
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should sign him to a $12 million deal as suggested by Fangraphs
... the Cubs should sign him, but for less money
... the Cubs should not sign him
Something else (leave in comments)