MLB 2022: Early Look at Off-Season Pitching Moves
This article is being written right at the tail end of Thanksgiving weekend in the US. That means it has only been one month since the last Major League Baseball season ended with the Atlanta Braves crowned as champions after defeating the Houston Astros in 6 games. While it may seem early to be talking MLB, we are only a couple months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. That said, some of the moves already taking place in this off-season have been big ones.
In no particular order, here are a few moves that caught my eye and are worth mentioning:
Andrew Heaney signed by Dodgers. I know what you are thinking here is that this is not a big deal but the Dodgers, like the Cardinals, are one of those teams that have a strong tendency to pick up pitchers that have struggled elsewhere and then been able to get them to thrive in their organization. There are no guarantees in anything of course but having a lefty that becomes revitalized in new surroundings can be a big plus as strong southpaw starters aren’t exactly that prevalent these days!
Eduardo Rodriguez signed by Tigers. Of course he should be better pitching in Detroit’s home park than in the bandbox known as Fenway Park and with shoddy infield defense behind him there. This Tigers team is showing gradual improvement and getting a lefty that can help stabilize and balance the pitching rotation should help Detroit continue to make steps in the positive direction.
Noah Syndergaard signed by Angels. Yes the injury questions will linger but this is a huge move that gives Los Angeles a shot to really make a move in the AL West if he is healthy. Keep in mind he is getting further and further away from the Tommy John surgery he had and this is a pitcher capable of being quite dominant when healthy. If he gets anywhere close to the form he had in the 2016 to 2018 seasons, this is going to be a huge boost for baseball fans in Anaheim!
Aaron Loup signed by Angels. Indeed Los Angeles not only getting former Mets for their starting rotation but also their bullpen and Loup had fantastic numbers for New York last season in 65 appearances!
Other significant signings included:
Reliever Kendall Graveman (solid bullpen numbers with 2 clubs last season) signed by White Sox. Starting pitcher Steven Matz signed by Cardinals (where so many pitchers flourish after landing!). Reliever Hector Neris (held hitters to .202 BAA last season) signed by Astros. Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (off huge season with Giants) signed by Blue Jays. Toronto now with a formidable rotation that includes Gausman, Jose Berrios, veteran Hyun Jin Ryu and young breakout talent Alek Manoah.