The newest member of the Texas Rangers doesn’t come with the fanfare and bravado of Jacob deGrom, but he still gives the pitching staff a boost. That would be left-hander Andrew Heaney.
Heaney, 31, signed a two-year contract with the Rangers worth $25 million, including an opt-out after the first year. The signing was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Andrew Heaney is a high-risk, high-reward pitching upgrade for the Texas Rangers
In 16 starts for the LA Dodgers in 2022, Heaney was surprisingly effective, pitching to a 3.10 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 72.2 innings pitched. Of course, the 16 starts is telling in regards to Heaney’s lengthy injury history, but nonetheless the results were still encouraging in that sample.
One stat that pops out in particular when looking at Andrew Heaney’s profile is his ability to get batters to swing and miss. His K rate in 2022 was 35.5%, which is simply incredible. Between him and deGrom, who also misses lots of bats, the swing and miss potential of the Rangers’ rotation is quite high heading into 2023 just on those two alone. That’s an area the Rangers lacked in last season.
The downside, though? Heaney has only started 30 games once in his career. That was back in 2018 with the Angels, and his numbers weren’t terrible: a 4.15 ERA with 180 K’s in 180 innings pitched, or exactly one strikeout per inning. Serviceable, if not somewhat decent. But Heaney must stay healthy for the Texas Rangers to justify paying him $12.5 million for two years.
Overall, this isn’t a bad signing by any means. Andrew Heaney upgrades the Rangers’ starting staff, likely behind Jacob deGrom, Jon Gray and Martin Perez and ahead of Jake Odorizzi. That has the makings of a potentially solid group that will, at minimum, have Texas become more competitive in games next season.
But this signing doesn’t come without risk, either. The Rangers are trusting Mike Maddux and Bruce Bochy to keep Andrew Heaney’s production at the high level it was for the Dodgers in 2022, and of course, avoiding lengthy injury absences.