Former Yankee Ben Heller has reached an agreement to join the Arizona Diamondbacks, pending a physical, per Robert Murray of FanSided (via Twitter). It’s a minor league deal, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (via Twitter). He has one option year remaining.
It didn’t take long for Heller to find a new home. He was released by the Yankees just over a week ago. Heller missed all of the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned, but only for a six-game sample in each of 2019 and 2020. Still, there was a good deal of interest in Heller, including from the Red Sox, notes Cotillo (via Twitter).
Heller joined the Yankees along with Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield as part of the Andrew Miller trade at the 2016 trade deadline. He was a 22nd round draft pick by the Indians in 2013.
Projections from ZiPS and ATC paint Heller as capable of an ERA in the 4.00-to-4.50 range next season. Because of the injury, Heller’s big-league track record is somewhat incomplete. Over 31 appearances that span four seasons and five years, Heller has a 2.59 ERA, but 5.57 FIP with a 40.9 percent fly ball rate, less-than-daunting 21.7 percent strikeout rate, and 10.9 percent walk rate.
I cannot imagine why Heller would have a good deal of interest. He was the ultimate meh pitcher for the Yankees. I cannot think of a single game where he was very good or very bad. He was always meh.
Sadly, for some teams (like the Diamondbacks) they strive for “meh”.
He’s been quite solid in the minors for pretty much his entire pro career and he hasn’t ever really been “bad” outside of that one 10+ game stretch a few years ago. So I think more than that teams view him as a potential dominant reliever is just that they view him as a decent one, and solid middle relief innings can be valuable, especially if you can get them for cheap like I assume Heller’s deal is.
He’s cheap, has an option year so he can play the AAA shuttle and can always throw the junk innings. He’s perfect filler. I was surprised to see Cashman let him go since he had an option remaining. Cashman loves to deploy the AAA shuttle with his middle relievers.
Is there any way the item about Jacob deGrom saying he’d like to spend his entire career with the Mets can be posted separately? It’s something people might want to comment on. Maybe keep Covid-related items, which is essential baseball news, separate from the others?
Re deGrom’s statement: I interpret it as a hint that he might be inclined to opt-out. “I’d like to remain a Met, but for that to happen, they’ll have to re-sign me.” The quote is obviously mine and not his. But his stating he’d like to remain a Met indicates it will be up to the team.
One of my long time complaints about MLBTR is their grouping of items under a single, all-encompassing headline that have nothing to do with each other. As you noted, the comments are closed because they put the deGrom item in with J.A. Happ testing positive for COVID. So anyone that wants to comment on deGrom, the Nat’s, or Dakota Hudson, can’t.
I never understood why they grouped items instead of making them separate posts. The result was having people comment on several different items, and it was sometimes confusing. Now with COVID, if their grouping includes a positive test, it means you can’t comment on what you should be able to.
tad2b13, Just keep COVID separate. The other items would have spurred some baseball talk.
Agree totally. I think every item ought to have it’s own separate post COVID or not. Posting and replying would be much easier and clearer. But, at the least, if the COVID items were separate, people wouldn’t be prevented from commenting when there’s no need to close the comments.
I don’t have an issue with them grouping stories, but they should NEVER include COVID or any stories that require comments being turned off in a grouping.
Quick question can the Mets afford Conforto, Degrom, and Lindor while having a good team around them to compete. Probably, but It will be intersting
Syndergaard and Stroman will also be free agents and Cano will be back on the books. There will also be a host of arbitration cases. Re-signing everyone would blow them well past the luxury tax limit and they would probably still need to make other moves to contend. It will be interesting to see how they handle that.
31 games in 4 years? Who cares?
Maybe he makes a comeback with Arizona
Diamondbacks fans? They probably care. Fans of the sport in general, who enjoy roster updates, they probably care too. Ben Heller’s parents care.
He lives near me in AZ, makes sense why he would sign here.
Signing Ben was a HELLER of a move !!
I love this signing for the Diamondbacks. There’s no risk. It’s a minor league contract. If he is healthy there is no reason he can’t have success in Arizona and be a lot more then just, meh. Heller has a nice power arm.