Report: Andrew Heaney Traded to Yankees from Angels Before MLB Deadline

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 14, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

In an effort to boost their starting rotation, the New York Yankees acquired Andrew Heaney from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the deal:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The Yankees keep adding. Now it’s Andrew Heaney from the Los Angeles Angels, source tells ESPN. Over the last 48 hours, that makes Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Heaney. The Yankees needed a change. They’re getting one. We’ll see if it’s the right mix.

Heaney is coming off a disappointing 2020 season after an injury-plagued 2019. Injuries have been an unfortunate hallmark of his career. Two years ago, the southpaw was limited to 95.1 innings over 18 starts, posting a 4.91 ERA, 20 homers allowed and 118 strikeouts. 

Last season saw Heaney post a 4.46 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 66.2 innings over 12 starts. He agreed to a one-year, $6.75 million deal with the Angels in January to avoid arbitration. 

So far in 2021, Heaney has been inconsistent with a 5.27 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 94 innings. 

The 2018 campaign was the first time Heaney unleashed the full extent of his capabilities. He made a total of six starts between 2016 and 2017 because of elbow problems that led to him having Tommy John surgery in July 2016. 

Despite making just five appearances at the end of the 2017 season, Heaney told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register there was a mental aspect that led to him wanting to return just over one year after undergoing elbow reconstruction:

"Before I had surgery, that was part of itI wanted to find a surgeon who was OK with that, who felt comfortable getting me back in 13-and-a-half or 14 months. That's something I really wanted to do.

"I wanted to have that confidence in myself that I'm back. I wanted to have the ability to get stretched out and throw in games and have as close to a normal offseason as possible, not come into spring training saying 'What the hell do I have?' I know what I can do, because I did it for the last month-and-a-half of the season."

With the 30-year-old set to become a free agent after this season, the Angels were faced with a choice to try building a rotation with him in it or deal him. Given his injury history, betting on long-term success was a risky proposition. 

The Yankees are buying low on Heaney hoping that he will pitch closer to his 2018 form and provide solid innings in the middle of their rotation down the stretch.