The Dodgers have agreed to a deal with veteran right-hander Nick Tropeano, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Tropeano, a client of the Bledsoe Agency, rejected an outright assignment from the Mets in favor of free agency earlier in the week. It’s a minor league deal between the two parties, MLBTR has learned.
Tropeano, 30, will give the Dodgers some depth both in the rotation and the bullpen. The right-hander is no stranger to Southern California, having spent parts of five seasons in the Angels organization earlier in his career. Tropeano tallied 195 2/3 frames for the Halos from 2015-19, missing a season-plus in the middle due to Tommy John surgery but generally faring well when healthy (4.51 ERA, 4.48 SIERA, 21.5 strikeout percentage, 9.3 percent walk rate).
Since leaving the Halos organization, Tropeano has bounced between several teams without a lengthy look at the MLB level, but he’s pitched quite well in limited action both in 2020 and 2021. In 23 2/3 innings split between the Pirates, Giants and Mets across the past two seasons, Tropeano has logged a 1.52 ERA with an even 21 percent strikeout rate and a seven percent walk rate. He’s also pitched to a 2.18 ERA in 20 2/3 Triple-A frames between the top affiliates for the Giants and Mets so far in 2021.
Tropeano has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in his brief Pittsburgh, San Francisco and New York stints dating back to 2020, but he’s had several multi-inning outings along the way. His final big league appearance for the Mets was a two-inning effort that saw him tally 37 pitches, and he’s since had a pair of three-inning relief outings in Triple-A for the Mets, topping out at 54 pitches. Tropeano has made 39 big league starts to go along with 15 relief appearances, so he could certainly be stretched out as a fifth starter candidate or at least a long relief option for the Dodgers in short order.
The Dodgers aren’t expecting Clayton Kershaw back until September now, and their recent pickups of Cole Hamels (one-year deal) and Danny Duffy (trade) were both made knowing that neither would be an option in the short term. Hamels needs to build up arm strength after sitting out the season to date, while Duffy was acquired midway through a stint on the injured list due to a forearm strain. He’s expected back mid-month. Tropeano gives the Dodgers a more immediate option to plug into the staff at a time when Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin are on the injured list and Trevor Bauer is on administrative leave.