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Dodgers Sign Drew Pomeranz To Minor League Deal

Drew Pomeranz Likely Done For 2022 Season

The Dodgers have signed left-hander Drew Pomeranz to a minor league deal, per Alex Freedman, the broadcaster/communications director for Triple-A Oklahoma City. The lefty has been assigned to OKC.

Pomeranz, 35, is looking to get back to the majors after two lost seasons. He signed a minor league deal with the Angels this winter but was released at the end of camp, either because he triggered an opt-out or the club simply let him go when they decided he wasn’t going to break camp with the club. Either way, he hit the open market again and now has a new deal with the Dodgers.

The lefty had once been one of the most dominant relievers in the league. The Brewers acquired him at the 2019 deadline and moved him from the rotation to the bullpen, at which point Pomeranz fired off 26 1/3 innings with a 2.39 earned run average. He struck out a tremendous 45% of batters faced in that time, while also keeping his walk rate to 8% and getting grounders on 46.8% of balls in play.

The Padres decided to make a bet on that breakout, signing him to a four-year deal with a $32MM guarantee. For the first half of that deal, it looked like a brilliant move for the Friars. Over 2020 and 2021, Pomeranz made 47 appearances with a tiny ERA of 1.62. His 11.4% walk rate was on the high side but he punched out 33.7% of batters faced and got grounders at a 45.8% clip, racking up four saves and 22 holds.

But he required surgery for a torn flexor tendon in August of 2021 and hasn’t been back on a mound for a big league game since then. Over the intervening years, he has repeatedly hit setbacks in his attempts to get back in action. He underwent a “cleanup surgery” on his elbow in May of last year and was able to go on a rehab assignment towards the end of the season, but only tossed 5 2/3 innings on the farm before being shut down again.

In Spring Training with the Angels this year, he made nine appearances, striking out six batters while giving out three walks and allowing eight hits and five earned runs. That’s not nearly as impressive as his previous results but it’s a small sample and it’s fair to expect some rust after such a long layoff. The main thing is that he appears to be the healthiest he has been in almost three years.

The Dodgers are generally unafraid to take chances on talented pitchers trying to get over significant injuries and there’s effectively no risk on a minor deal like this. For Pomeranz, he can utilize the tools of an organization that has a…

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