The Dodgers have signed left-hander Ryan Sherriff to a minor league deal, as revealed by the pitcher himself via social media. Sherriff announced he was heading to Los Angeles with a tweet, and he updated both his Twitter and Instagram pages with Dodgers tags. Alex Freedman of the Oklahoma City Dodgers announced the deal today.
The southpaw inked another minors contract with the Red Sox during the offseason, which resulted in five appearances and 6 2/3 innings for Sherriff at the big league level. Boston designated Sherriff for assignment earlier this month and he elected to forego an outright assignment to Triple-A in favor of free agency — Sherriff had that right because he has previously been outrighted off a 40-man roster earlier in his career.
The five games with the Red Sox marked Sherriff’s first Major League action since 2021, as he spent last year pitching in the Phillies’ minor league system and on the injured list due to a shoulder strain. Since making his MLB debut in 2017 with the Cardinals, Sherriff has only 49 appearances and 51 total innings over parts of five seasons, as injuries (most prominently a Tommy John surgery) have repeatedly stalled his career.
When Sherriff has pitched, the results have been decent, as he has a career 3.53 ERA and 52.6% grounder rate over his 51 innings in the Show. His 18.5% strikeout rate isn’t noteworthy, but Sherriff’s ability to keep the ball both on the ground and in the ballpark altogether (only three homers allowed to MLB hitters) makes him a useful relief asset. However, the three-batter rule is an obstacle to a manager’s ability to shield Sherriff from his drastic splits, as right-handed batters have a hefty .891 OPS against him over 132 career plate appearances. Conversely, Sherriff has shut down left-handed hitters to the tune of a .382 OPS.
At the cost of just a minor league contract, there isn’t any risk to the Dodgers in taking a look at the 33-year-old Sherriff to see if he can contribute to their big league bullpen. Los Angeles has been hit with a number of injuries to both relievers and starters this season, and pitching figures to be a priority for the team heading into the trade deadline. Adding a big-name arm or two is certainly possible, but the Dodgers have had enough past success in finding hidden pitching gems that taking a flier on Sherriff might prove quite valuable.