The hot stove season is fully upon us, especially with the winter meetings starting this coming weekend. That means it’s rumor season. One potential addition for the Dodgers bullpen could be Alex Reyes, who missed all of the 2022 season with a shoulder injury.
#Dodgers are among a long list of teams showing interest in former All-Star closer Alex Reyes.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) November 27, 2022
Reyes missed last season due to injuries but was one of the best relievers in the NL when healthy in 2021.
Reyes has an extensive injury history, including surgery to repair a frayed labrum in May that ended his 2022 season before it began. Reyes, a consensus top-10 prospect in baseball prior to the 2016 and 2017 seasons, also had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and lat surgery in 2018 while in the minors.
The right-hander, who has five years, 56 days of major league service time and would have been eligible for salary arbitration this winter, was non-tendered by St. Louis on November 18. Reyes made $2.85 million in 2022.
Now 28, Reyes because of those injuries has pitched just 159⅓ innings between the majors and minors over the last six seasons, including 15 starts and 90 relief appearances. Since returning to the majors in 2019, Reyes has pitched almost exclusively in relief, with 87 games out of the bullpen and a lone one-inning start as an opener in 2020.
When pitching, Reyes has been quite effective, including making the All-Star team with St. Louis in 2021 while saving 29 games.
Among the 314 pitchers with at least 70 combined innings in 2020-21, Reyes ranked last in walk rate (16.4 percent). But he got away with it thanks to a 30.4-percent strikeout rate and for the most part avoiding barrels. Reyes had a 3.23 ERA in those seasons and xERAs of 3.47 and 3.50.
Reyes allowed the two-run walk-off home run to Chris Taylor in the 2021 wild card game. But giving up a postseason-round-winning homer hasn’t stopped the Dodgers from calling before, having acquired Chris Martin — who allowed Cody Bellinger’s pennant-winner in Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS — at the trade deadline last August. Martin was one of LA’s best relievers down the stretch, and is now a free agent.