Dodgers sign right-hander Brandon Beachy to low-risk contract

Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy delivers a pitch during a game against the Dodgers in April 2011. Beachy signed with the Dodgers on Saturday.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Some signings seem obvious, and I’m not talking about the Max Scherzers of the world. It’s the ones that go fairly unnoticed, smart gambles that often turn into sweet rewards.

The Dodgers made one of those Saturday when they announced they had signed right-hander Brandon Beachy to a one-year contract with a club option for 2016.

Beachy was a rising star with the Braves a couple years ago, but that was before a pair of Tommy John surgeries. Two Tommy John surgeries within a three-year span will understandably scare most off.


But this is very much a low-risk, high-reward signing. Beachy is only 28 and the Dodgers already have had some past success with pitchers who’ve had two TJ operations. Chris Capuano was 33 when they signed him in 2012 and they got 33 starts out of him.

Beachy was an undrafted free agent signed by the Braves and came out of nowhere to go 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 169 strikeouts in 141 2/3 innings in 2012. The next year he was leading the league with a 2.00 ERA when he was shut down for the first TJ operation. Then in spring 2014 came a second.

Still, the Dodgers lack real depth in their rotation. And if Beachy is hardly reliable at this point, that doesn’t mean he can’t become exciting depth. If all goes as planned with the rotation, he should have time to build arm strength and possibly be ready should a starter go down. If he never gets it back, little is lost.

To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers moved Chris Withrow, who’s coming off TJ and back surgery, to the 60-day disabled list.