Turns Out the Cubs Were in on Lefty Starter Andrew Heaney

The short-term pitching market has already seen a flurry of activity, and at price levels few were expecting. One of those signings was lefty Andrew Heaney, a long-talented, often-injured, often-underperforming, reclamation opportunity snagged by the Dodgers for a whopping $8.5 million on a one-year deal.

For reasons that were probably idiosyncratic to him, Heaney’s market got really hot early in the offseason. He may simply have been a guy who wanted to sign early, and a number of teams were reportedly in on him. Turns out, one of those teams was the Cubs.

From Patrick Mooney at The Athletic:

The Cubs were involved in the bidding for free agent Andrew Heaney, according to an industry source, though not at the level that the Dodgers ultimately reached. The Dodgers signed Heaney in mid-November to a one-year, $8.5 million contract despite a disappointing season that saw him post a 5.83 ERA in 30 games (23 starts) with the Angels and Yankees.

Well how about that. It doesn’t change anything, since the Cubs didn’t land Heaney, but this report is nevertheless notable for at least a few reasons:

1.) It confirms our expectation that the Cubs will have interest in this type of pitcher: lotta flaws and concerns, but big stuff, big strikeout rate, and at least some velocity (average 92mph fastball).

2.) It shows that the Cubs are ready to jump early when a guy’s market starts moving, even if it’s before the CBA expires.

3.) But it also shows the Cubs either didn’t love Heaney specifically, or weren’t prepared for the reclamation price tags to keep exploding to this extent. My gut says the Cubs viewed Heaney as a guy they would be OK snagging at a reasonable price, and thus they got involved because it was clear he was going to sign quickly. But I’m not so sure he was a top target.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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