Dodgers play long game with trade for Feyereisen

December 14th, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- While other teams in the National League continue to make splashes in the trade and free-agent markets, the Dodgers have remained patient, instead making deals to help improve the margins of their roster.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers swung a trade with the Rays to acquire right-handed reliever in exchange for Minor League pitcher Jeff Belge.

Feyereisen, 29, was designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room for Zach Eflin. Once Feyereisen became available, Tampa Bay was immediately inundated with calls to acquire him. Given Feyereisen’s age and recent success, nearly every team with an open 40-man roster spot showed interest in the reliever despite the fact that he recently underwent surgery.

Since joining Tampa Bay in May 2021 as part of the trade that sent star shortstop Willy Adames to Milwaukee, Feyereisen became an integral part of the Rays’ bullpen. He allowed just 15 runs (10 earned) and struck out 58 batters in 56 appearances after the deal. In ‘22, Feyereisen started to establish himself as one of the best relievers in the American League, throwing 24 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run to start the season.

But Feyereisen developed right shoulder pain and was shut down for the remainder of the season in early June. Last week, he underwent successful shoulder surgery, a procedure described as a “general cleanup of the rotator cuff and labrum.”

That procedure will prevent Feyereisen from throwing for about four months. It will then take a few more months for him to gain strength and get back on the mound, so Feyereisen isn’t expected to make an impact in 2023 until at least late August.

Acquiring an injured pitcher is something the Dodgers have grown accustomed to with mixed results. They signed Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal in December 2020 after he underwent Tommy John surgery. He didn't stay fully healthy over the course of that deal, but he did contribute a 2.84 ERA over 12 2/3 frames in '22. Los Angeles also traded for Danny Duffy in ‘21 and re-signed him for '22, but the veteran left-hander never pitched in a game for the club.

Feyereisen, however, is worth the gamble, according to league sources, because of his dominance when healthy and the fact that he’ll be under team control through the 2026 season.

Feyereisen won’t be the only Dodgers reliever rehabbing an injury for most of the 2023 campaign. is expected to miss most, if not all, of '23 after undergoing right shoulder surgery earlier this offseason. is also expected to be sidelined for most or the entirety of next season after undergoing a second Tommy John surgery.