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.