After failing to come to terms with Kenley Jansen, the Los Angeles Dodgers filled their void at closer by trading AJ Pollock to the Chicago White Sox for Craig Kimbrel.
Although Kimbrel joined the Dodgers with a long history of success, he was marred by inconsistency throughout the season and eventually got removed from the closer role. The Dodgers finished the regular season without a designated pitcher for the ninth inning and carried that strategy into the playoffs.
When recently discussing the outlook at closer, general manager Brandon Gomes indicated the Dodgers did not feel a need to begin the 2023 season with a set ninth-inning reliever.
The Dodgers nonetheless are among the teams with interest in Alex Reyes, according to Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
#Dodgers are among a long list of teams showing interest in former All-Star closer Alex Reyes.
Reyes missed last season due to injuries but was one of the best relievers in the NL when healthy in 2021.
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) November 27, 2022
A former top prospect in baseball, Reyes was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals at the deadline this month and became a free agent. It was largely due to the 28-year-old missing the entire season due to requiring right shoulder surgery back in May.
That represented a disappointing development for Reyes, who was an All-Star in 2021 but struggled during the second half of the season and was removed from the closer role.
In addition to having his throwing shoulder operated on, Reyes had a torn tendon in his latissimus dorsi muscle repaired in 2018, and he underwent Tommy John surgery during 2019 Spring Training. Although it did not require surgery, Reyes additionally dealt with right shoulder trouble in 2020.
It’ll be the third major surgery for Reyes in the past five years. The righty underwent Tommy John surgery back in Spring Training of 2019 and has since gone under the knife to repair a torn tendon in his latissimus dorsi muscle. Reyes also missed time with shoulder trouble back in 2020, though he didn’t require surgery at the time.
The last pitch Reyes has thrown was hit by Chris Taylor for a walk-off home run in the 2021 National League Wild Card Game.
Dodgers bullpen need
Even with some health questions surrounding Reyes, his potential could make him an intriguing upside play for a Dodgers bullpen that has some uncertainty.
Tommy Kahnle and Chris Martin remain free agents, and Blake Treinen may not pitch in 2023 due to right shoulder surgery to repair his his labrum and rotator cuff.
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