January 28, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Veteran Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez signs with Houston Astros

Former Dodgers reliever Pedro Báez has agreed to a two-year contract with the Houston Astros pending a physical, according to the Times’ Jorge Castillo.

Báez, who will turn 33 in March, has spent his entire seven-year career in L.A., posting a 3.03 ERA across 355 games. In 2020, he appeared 18 times in the regular season, allowing six earned runs and striking out 13 batters in 17 innings. During the Dodgers’ World Series postseason run, he had a 3.52 ERA in eight outings and recorded two outs in the team’s title-clinching win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

A native of the Dominican Republic who signed with the Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 2007, Báez played third base before converting to the mound for the 2013 season. He rose through the Dodgers’ farm system quickly as a reliever, making his MLB debut in 2014 at age 26.

Between 2015 and 2019, the right-hander appeared in at least 52 games each season.

This year, Báez reported late to camp in July because he was twice exposed to people with the coronavirus, though he never tested positive. In late August, he went on the injured list for three weeks with a right groin strain.

Though he collected two saves and six holds, Báez struggled when inheriting runners on base. All seven of his inherited runners in the regular season and playoffs came around to score, including two he allowed on a go-ahead by Brandon Lowe in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ Game 4 loss in the World Series.

Báez, however, delivered in Game 6. Brought on to begin the fifth inning that night, he retired the first two batters he faced before being removed after a two-out single, helping the Dodgers’ bullpen complete 7⅓ innings of scoreless relief and clinch the series.