Former Astros reliever Pedro Báez returns to the Dodgers on a minor-league deal.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed free agent reliever Pedro Báez on Thursday to a minor-league contract, bringing home a right-hander who called Los Angeles home for seven major-league seasons.
Báez signed in January 2021 with the Houston Astros — only the second professional club to employee the now 34-year-old. Due to right-shoulder soreness, Báez’s play in 2021 was limited.
With a stay on the 60-day injured list starting in mid-April of last season, Báez finally saw major-league action by early August following rehab assignments with Triple-A Sugar Land and Low-A Fayetteville.
From there, nothing ever clicked for Báez. The righty hit the injured list once again two weeks after being activated from it. By the end of the 2021 season, Báez only saw 4.1 innings of low-leverage play, yielding one home run as the lone hitter to cross home.
Báez was healthy for the start of the 2022 season, making the Opening Day bullpen. A low-leverage role followed the right-hander into his second year with the club, accounting for only 2.1 innings in roughly three weeks of being rostered.
The righty earned three runs in the small sample, showing no improvements of pitch location nor increases in fastball velocity to what it once was before his shoulder injury. The Astros designated Báez for assignment April 26, prior to releasing him the next day.
Going unclaimed, it took nearly three weeks for a club to give Báez a last chance to fight his way back to the Major Leagues. The Dodgers assigned Báez to the Arizona Complex League Dodgers on Friday, building a path for him to return to normal play.
Báez may not see the show again in 2022, but the next matchup between Triple-A Sugar Land and Triple-A Oklahoma City — the Dodgers’ affiliate — is June 7, a series Báez could be rostered in.