For all the attention placed on the Los Angeles Dodgers at the annual MLB Trade Deadline, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman historically is active well before July.
Oftentimes that entails trades or signings that largely fly under the radar, but ultimately have paid significant dividends for the Dodgers. When it comes to organizational depth, much of Friedman’s activity lies on the pitching side.
The Dodgers this season have acquired Casey Sadler from the Tampa Bay Rays, and reunited with Zac Rosscup after he was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays, among other transactions.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Dodgers have now signed Tyler Thornburg after he was released by the Boston Red Sox:
In case you missed it (because I did), Tyler Thornburg signed with the Dodgers a few days after being released by the Red Sox
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) July 29, 2019
The Red Sox acquired Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2016 Winter Meetings in exchange for Travis Shaw and minor league prospects Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington and Yeison Coca.
Thornburg was expected to become a setup man to Craig Kimbrel, but missed all of the 2017 season after undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He appeared in 25 games for Boston last year, going 2-0 with a 5.63 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.
The 30-year-old began the 2019 season on the Opening Day roster but appeared in just 16 games before being placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right hip impingement. Thornburg struggled mightily in a rehab assignment that was extended to the maximum 30 days permitted for a pitcher.
He allowed 15 earned runs across 10.2 innings pitched for Triple-A Pawtucket, and rejected a Minor League assignment, which led to the release. Thornburg finished his Red Sox career with a 6.54 ERA in 41 games.
Despite his struggles, the right-hander profiles as a natural target for the Dodgers given the spin rate on his fastball and curveball. L.A. has previously succeeded with pitchers who were deemed reclamation projects, and doing so with Thornburg could further aid their bullpen.