Dodgers Roster: LA Agrees with Free Agent Pitcher on Minor League Deal

The Dodgers signed minor-league pitcher Kevin Gowdy, who was drafted pretty high in 2016 but has struggled with injury and command issues in the minors.

The Dodgers recently signed pitcher Kevin Gowdy to a minor-league contract. Gowdy, who was drafted 42nd overall in the 2016 draft and got a huge signing bonus to keep him from going to UCLA, hit free agency after the 2022 season and goes to his third organization in the last two years.

Gowdy really struggled in Double-A with the Rangers organization last year, and the Dodgers transactions page say he’s been assigned to Double-A Tulsa. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the pandemic and injury have kept Gowdy from progressing the way the Phillies hoped when they drafted him.

Gowdy is a 25-year-old righty who went 42nd overall to the Phillies in the 2016 draft. The Phils paid an overslot $3.5MM bonus to buy him out of a UCLA commitment out of high school. That didn’t pan out, as Gowdy missed two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery and didn’t advance past High-A in the Philadelphia system. The Rangers acquired him as part of the Kyle Gibson/Ian Kennedy deadline deal in 2021. Gowdy spent last season working out of the bullpen at Double-A Frisco, where he was tattooed for a 9.90 ERA with nearly as many walks as strikeouts in 40 innings. He hit minor league free agency at year’s end and will try to earn an MLB look in the third organization of his professional career.

If Gowdy is going to have success with Los Angeles, it will be because their player dev system helps him figure out whatever mechanical issue is leading to so many walks. He’ll also need to significantly improve his strikeout rate, which is just 18.7% in his minor-league career.

Gowdy is a local-ish product, having been born and raised in Santa Barbara.

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