After Spring Training started earlier this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a low-risk, high-reward signing by inking Alex Reyes to a one-year deal with a club option for 2024.
Reyes signed for just $1.1 million as he was looking to return from right shoulder trouble that forced him to miss all of 2022 with the St. Louis Cardinals due to surgery. His last pitching at the Major League level was in 2021 against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Game when he surrendered the walk-off home run to Chris Taylor.
Despite that, Reyes was a former top prospect and All-Star closer who has been an elite arm when healthy, but that time has been few and far between. At the time of the signing, he was expected to miss at least the first two months of the season, but that eventually turned into the whole season when he underwent shoulder surgery once again.
Reyes’ team option for the 2024 season was worth $3 million with incentives and a $100,000 buyout cost, but the Dodgers are declining that to make him a free agent, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:
The Dodgers are expected to decline Alex Reyes' $3 million club option for 2024, source tells The Athletic.
He will receive a $100,000 buyout and become a free agent.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) November 4, 2023
The 29-year-old is expected to be out until at least June as he recovers from the shoulder surgery. He previously started a throwing program at the end of Spring Training but was shut down after experiencing pain, which led to the discovery of more damage in a new area of his shoulder.
Reyes could still return to the Dodgers, but it would almost certainly come on a Minor League deal, or at the very minimum a reduced cost from his $3 million. That deal could look similar to the one he signed last season for one year with a club option, but it depends on how confident they are in his health.
Over parts of five seasons with the Cardinals, Reyes went 16-11 with 31 saves, a 2.86 ERA, 3.87 FIP and 1.35 WHIP over 101 games (seven starts) before he was non-tendered.
Dodgers believed Alex Reyes would be ‘very additive’
The Dodgers announced the signings of Reyes and David Peralta on the same day, which drew praise from manager Dave Roberts at the time.
“I think with both guys, it’s experience,” Roberts said. “From what I’ve gathered, they’re both great teammates and great competitors. I think to get assimilated with what we do with the Dodgers, the culture, I think it will be easy. Certainly very additive given their track records. I’m excited.”
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