Former Dodgers Relief Pitcher Heath Hembree Signs With Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays signed Heath Hembree, who appeared in games for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers last season. Hembree joined the Rays on a Minor League contract with a non-roster invite to 2023 Spring Training.

The right-hander went 2-0 with a 7.16 ERA, 8.19 FIP and 1.90 WHIP in 16.1 innings pitched over 20 appearances for the Pirates. He was designated for assignment and released, leading to signing a Minor League contract with the Dodgers.

Hembree initially reported to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA in 10 games. He spent two months in the Minors before the Dodgers selected Hembree’s contract prior to their series opener against the New York Mets on August 30.

Hembree earned a win in his Dodgers debut but otherwise struggled during two weeks up with the team. Hembree posted a 7.94 ERA, 5.22 FIP and 2.12 WHIP in 5.2 innings over six appearances.

The Dodgers designated Hembree for assignment on September 13 and he elected free agency after clearing waivers rather than accepting a Minor League assignment to Oklahoma City.

The 34-year-old did not sign with another team prior to the regular season winding to a close.

Heath Hembree career

Hembree was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. In parts of 10 MLB seasons with the Giants, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Pirates and Dodgers, Hembree is 21-13 with 11 saves, a 4.39 ERA, 4.67 FIP and 1.39 WHIP across 357 games.

The veteran relief pitcher turned in four scoreless appearances during the postseason to help the Boston Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. The last of those came against the Dodgers in Game 3, which had a historic finish on Max Muncy’s walk-off home run in the 18th inning.

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