Toronto heavily pursued Heaney last off-season before he ultimately signed a one-year, $8.5-million contract with Los Angeles, marking his second tenure with the franchise after being briefly acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2014. And their interest level has undoubtedly increased even further following his bounce-back 2022 performance.After a disappointing 2021 campaign, where the left-hander posted a 5.83 ERA over 129.2 innings split between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees, he underwent some key mechanical adjustments that allowed him to enjoy a much-needed reset. As a result, the 6-foot-2 hurler finished with a 3.10 ERA, 3.39 xERA, 3.75 FIP and a .213 OPP AVG across 14 starts and two relief appearances with the Dodgers.Heaney also dramatically enhanced his swing-and-miss ability, registering career bests regarding his strikeout rate (35.5 per cent) and strikeout-to-walk rate difference (29.4 per cent), with his punchout percentage ranking in the 97th percentile. His whiff (35.8 per cent) and chase rates (36.4 per cent) also placed in the 96th, respectively.The Oklahoma City, OKC., native is much improved from the pitcher that most Blue Jays fans remember from his brief tenure with the Yankees. He is still prone to allowing hard contact (47.1 per cent in 2022) and home runs (17.9 per cent HR/FB ratio), but those concerns have been mitigated by his encouraging strikeout and walk totals.
#BlueJays have the capacity to continue raising payroll this year & in future years per Mark Shapiro. The CBT ($233 million for 2023) is "not an obstacle," Shapiro said. Doesn't mean Jays get there next year, but as Verlander pursuit showed that's a possibility they can explore.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 6, 2022
In other words, based on past statements we could determine Jays weren't going to have more than 30 million or so to spend this off-season as their max. Today's comments bring the uncertainty back and I think #BlueJays like having that mystery.
— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) December 6, 2022