Two Major League Baseball starting pitchers switched teams via free agency on Tuesday. The Texas Rangers have signed starting pitcher Andrew Heaney of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to a two-year contract worth $25 million, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed starting pitcher Vince Velasquez of Montclair, California to a one-year contract worth $3.15 million according to spotrac.com.
The Rangers are taking a bit of a gamble when you consider the fact Heaney has had Tommy John surgery in the past, and has had multiple arm injuries that has included further elbow inflammation. The large contract is also surprising when you consider the fact that Heaney has an overall record of 36 wins and 42 losses, and has never reached double digits in wins in any of his nine major league seasons. In fact, Heaney has had an earned run average over five in four seasons in his career.
Heaney will be joining his fifth franchise after previously being with the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates are also the fifth team for Velasquez as he has previously been with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Chicago White Sox.
Heaney in 2022
This past season, Heaney was with the Dodgers, and like many of the Dodgers spent time on the injury list. In 16 games, he had a record of four wins and four losses, with an earned run average of 3.10. Heaney pitched 72 2/3 innings and gave up 60 hits, 25 earned runs, and 19 walks. He had 110 strikeouts, with a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.08. Heaney is currently slated second in the starting rotation in 2023 with the Rangers, behind ace Jacob DeGrom, and ahead of Jon Gray, Martin Perez, and Dave Dunning.
Velasquez in 2022
This past season, Velasquez shared his time as a starting pitcher and in the bullpen with the Chicago White Sox. Of his 27 appearances, he was a reliever in 18 games, and a starting pitcher in nine games.
Velasquez had a record of three wins and three losses with an earned run average of 4.78. In 75 1/3 pitched, he gave up 68 hits, 40 earned runs, and 25 walks, to to go along with 69 strikeouts, one hold, and a WHIP of 1.24. Velasquez’s hold came in a 9-6 White Sox win over the Seattle Mariners on September 7.
Velasquez is expected to return as a starter in Pittsburgh in 2023. He is slated to be fourth in the rotation, behind ace Roansy Contreras, JT Brubaker, and Mitch Keller.