Morry Gash/Associated Press
The defending champions added some depth to their bullpen Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced they traded a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Milwaukee Brewers for right-handed pitcher Corey Knebel. Knebel appeared in 15 games for the Brewers during the shortened 2020 campaign and finished with a 6.08 ERA, 1.73 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 13.1 innings.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the Dodgers elected to tender him, meaning the two sides will either go to arbitration or agree to a contract.
While Knebel’s 2020 numbers are not impressive, it should be noted that he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2019 season.
He struggled in his return but is not far removed from a head-turning showing in 2017 and a solid 2018 effort when he helped anchor Milwaukee’s bullpen. He finished with a 1.78 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 126 strikeouts in 76 innings in 2017 and posted a 3.58 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 88 strikeouts in 55.1 innings the following year.
The bullpen was a major reason the Brewers reached the National League Championship Series in 2018, where they lost to Knebel’s new team.
The right-hander is just 29 years old and could still be in his prime for the foreseeable future if he does bounce back. There also won’t be as much pressure on him to be a major piece in the Dodgers’ bullpen considering they just won a World Series without him.
If he comes even close to replicating what he was in 2017, this low-risk, high-reward move by Los Angeles will look quite notable come October.