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Dodgers reportedly sign reliever Alex Reyes to 1-year deal

Former Cardinals closer missed all of 2022 with a right shoulder injury

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Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

The Dodgers have apparently found another potential arm for the bullpen, agreeing to terms with Alex Reyes on a one-year contract, per multiple reports.

Reyes missed all of 2022 with a frayed shoulder labrum that required surgery in May, but was an All-Star closer for the Cardinals the year before. He’s expected to miss the beginning of 2023 but is “on schedule to return to big league action before the All-Star break, according to a person with knowledge of the situation,” per Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers were rumored to be interested in Reyes back in November, just days after he was non-tendered by the Cardinals. With five years, 56 days of service time, he was eligible for salary arbitration before getting cut loose by St. Louis.

The right-hander had a 30.4-percent strikeout rate in 2020-21, but was also last in the majors with a 16.4-percent walk rate in those two seasons combined. A low hard-hit percentage and barrel rate helped fuel a combined 3.23 in those two seasons, with an xERA of 3.50 in 2020 and 3.47 in 2021.

Reyes allowed the two-run walk-off home run to Chris Taylor in the 2021 National League wild card game.

Now 28, Reyes has also missed time with Tommy John surgery in 2017 and lat surgery in 2018. That has limited him to just 159⅓ total innings in the majors and minors over the last six seasons.

Like the reported agreement with outfielder David Peralta, the Dodgers’ deal with Reyes hasn’t yet been finalized. With pitchers Walker Buehler, Blake Treinen, and J.P. Feyereisen all recovering from surgery and expected to miss significant time in 2023, they are prime candidates to be placed on the 60-day injured list, an avenue to open a 40-man roster spot once spring training opens in the coming week.

Maybe even Reyes himself is a candidate to be land on the 60-day IL given his potential timeline. Stacking roster moves and injured list stints to cram multiple players into one roster spot isn’t all that new of a concept for the Dodgers.