Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Early into free agency this offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers were connected to Alex Reyes, a former top prospect and All-Star closer who was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals last year.
The Cardinals’ decision largely stemmed from Reyes missing the entire 2022 season after undergoing right shoulder surgery in May. It was the latest downturn for the right-hander who struggled in the second half of 2021 and was removed from the closer role.
Reyes nevertheless appeared to a potential upside play for the Dodgers, who have a long history of assisting pitchers in revitalizing their careers.
Months after their initial interest, the Dodgers reportedly signed Reyes to a one-year, $1.1 million contract that includes performance bonuses and a team option for 2024, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
#Dodgers and former All-Star closer Alex Reyes are in agreement on a one-year, $1.1 million deal that includes a $3 million club option in 2024, per source. The deal, which is pending physical, is loaded with performance bonuses that could make the deal be worth up to $10 million
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) February 11, 2023
In addition to having his throwing shoulder operated on last year, Reyes had a torn tendon in his latissimus dorsi muscle repaired in 2018, and he underwent Tommy John surgery during 2019 Spring Training. Although it did not require surgery, Reyes additionally dealt with right shoulder trouble in 2020.
Once the signing is finalized, Reyes projects to be part of a stout Dodgers bullpen that lost Tommy Kahnle, Craig Kimbrel and Chris Martin in free agency. Reyes presumably could pitch his way to becoming the Dodgers’ new closer, but general manager Brandon Gomes recently suggested the team was comfortable without a dedicated arm for the ninth inning.
Over parts of five seasons with the Cardinals, Reyes went 16-11 with 31 saves, a 2.86 ERA, 3.87 FIP and 1.35 WHIP over 101 games (seven starts).
Alex Reyes gave up walk-off home run against Dodgers
The last pitch Reyes threw at the Major League level was hit by Chris Taylor for a walk-off home run in the 2021 National League Wild Card Game.
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