The Dodgers and veteran righty Matt Andriese are in agreement on a minor league contract, as first indicated on the transaction log at MLB.com. The Beverly Hills Sports Council client will return stateside after spending the 2022 campaign with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
Andriese, 33, pitched quite well overseas, albeit in a relatively limited sample of 44 1/3 innings. The former Rays, D-backs, Angels, Red Sox and Mariners right-hander notched a tidy 2.03 ERA in NPB, fanning 21.3% of his opponents against a very strong 5.6% walk rate.
The 2022 season marked the first time in seven years that Andriese didn’t throw a pitch at the big league level. He appeared in every MLB season from 2015-21, working as both a starter and reliever with the aforementioned five clubs. The bulk of that work — and the bulk of his MLB success — came with the Rays, for whom he posted a 4.30 ERA in 339 innings.
On the whole, Andriese has a lifetime 4.63 ERA, 21.7% strikeout rate and 6.7% walk rate in 509 frames in the Majors. He’s started 50 games and made another 167 relief appearances; while he’s typically worked in multi-inning relief stints, he’s tallied eight rogue saves and 15 holds over the course of his time in a big league bullpen.
The Dodgers have a full rotation — Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Noah Syndergaard — with several top-ranked prospects waiting in the wings whenever an opportunity arises (e.g. Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Ryan Pepiot). It’s a fairly similar story in a generally crowded bullpen mix. Right-hander Brusdar Graterol and lefties Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson are the only projected members of the L.A. relief corps that can be freely optioned to Triple-A, and they’re all coming off strong 2022 showings that likely give them an inside track on Opening Day roster spots.
That said, pitching injuries are an inevitability. Andriese gives the Dodgers a potential depth option whenever health woes pop up for either the starting staff or the bullpen. He’s a nice veteran insurance policy to have on hand in the upper minors to begin the season. He’ll join recent minor league signees like Jordan Yamamoto and Dylan Covey in that regard.