In hindsight it’s always easier to look back at a lost season after it’s over. But that ignores the signs of optimism that existed along the way. Today we look back at the 2023 campaign of Alex Reyes, who was technically on the Dodgers this year.
Reyes had an existing shoulder injury when the Dodgers signed the former Cardinals closer in February. This was known, as he was still recovering from shoulder surgery to repair a frayed labrum in May 2022.
He was not expected to pitch until some time in the middle of the season, but one small sign of hope was that Reyes did not start the season on the 60-day injured list, only the standard 15-day IL, at least leaving open the possibility that he might be able to pitch at some point during the season’s first two months.
Some of that hope was dashed on April 16, when Reyes was in fact moved to the 60-day IL when the Dodgers first needed to make room on the 40-man roster. In this case, it was for catcher Austin Wynns in his short-lived Los Angeles stint.
The Dodgers’ contract with Reyes was a low-risk endeavor, guaranteeing Reyes only $1.1 million in hopes he might regain the form that saw him post a 3.23 ERA with a 30-percent strikeout rate in 2020-21. It was somewhat similar to the Dodgers’ signing Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal for 2021-22, knowing the first year would be spent recovering from Tommy John surgery, except Kahnle and his longer track record was guaranteed $4.75 million.
Reyes’ deal contained several bonuses and incentives built in that could have earned Reyes up to $10 million in 2023-24 combined.
But he earned none of those incentives. Reyes needed another shoulder surgery in June, ending his season without pitching in a game in either the majors or minors.
Though he never pitched in a game for the Dodgers, let the record reflect that Reyes wore uniform number 27.
Stats: did not pitch
Salary: $1 million
The Dodgers declined the $3 million 2024 club option on Reyes on November 5, instead, paying him a $100,000 buyout. The right-hander is a free agent.