Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers not only tendered Six players and re-signed Scott Alexander to a one-year contract ahead of Wednesday’s deadline, but also swung a trade to acquire Corey Knebel from the Milwaukee Brewers.
The right-hander has some impressive seasons under his belt, but struggled to the tune of a 6.08 ERA, 6.64 FIP and 1.73 WHIP in 13.1 innings this year (15 games). It was his first work on the mound since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2019.
However, by the end of the season, Knebel was regularly touching the mid-90s on his fastball velocity. He was much improved upon returning from the injured list in September, allowing just two runs and holding opponents to a .167/.286/.250 batting line over 6.2 innings across six appearances.
During an appearance on MLB Network Radio, Knebel expressed excitement with joining the Dodgers and helping them defend their World Series title next season:
“I had a great time in Milwaukee, a lot of years spent there, and now I’m ready to move onto the next chapter. Can’t be more excited than to be with a World Series team. … If there was one thing you want, it’s to go to a team that can win the World Series. They’re not losing anybody, this team is stacked. I can’t be more excited.”
Knebel fits the mold of other relief pitchers the Dodgers have taken a gamble on in recent seasons. The club found success with the likes of Joe Blanton, Brandon Morrow and Blake Treinen, to name a few.
If Knebel is able to return to his previous All-Star form, it would be a major boost to a bullpen that could potentially lose Treinen and Pedro Baez in free agency. Knebel also gives the Dodgers a different look as a reliever who relies on a four-seam fastball.
Dodgers reportedly focused on second-tier relief pitchers
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman previously revealed that the club’s early focus in free agency is adding second-tier relievers.
L.A. has been linked to former Cleveland Indians closer Brad Hand, but it remains to be seen if they will still pursue him after the addition of Knebel.
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