Jason Knapp Attempting Comeback

It's been more than four years since the Indians traded reigning Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to the Phillies in exchange for a package of four prospects headlined by right-hander Jason Knapp. Since that time, Knapp has undergone a pair of shoulder surgeries and been released by the Indians, but ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the former top prospect will be attempting a comeback at age 23 (All Twitter links).

Knapp hasn't pitched professionally since 2010, but Crasnick reports that his fastball is back up into the 90s. As Crasnick notes, if Knapp truly is healthy, he figures to draw interest from plenty of teams. Knapp is the type of player teams will dream on — a low-cost, low-risk pickup of a player that was once one of the game's best pitching prospects. From 2008-10, Knapp posted a 3.63 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 across two minor league levels with the Phillies and Indians.

The Phillies drafted Knapp — who was last listed at 6'5", 235 pounds — out of high school in the second round of the 2007 draft. Following the 2008 season, Baseball America ranked Knapp 64th among all prospects and called him the best player the Indians received in the Lee haul. BA then praised Knapp for a fastball that could touch 98 mph, a sometimes-plus 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup that had the makings of at least an average third pitch. At the time, BA wrote that if he could remain healthy, Knapp could develop into a front-line starting pitcher.

Full Story | 45 Comments | Categories: Jason Knapp

45 Responses to Jason Knapp Attempting Comeback Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 2 years ago

    … Who?

    • Guest 2 years ago

      I honestly have no idea who he is.

      • It’s unfortunate that you don’t have access to the internet to look him up…

        • Phillyfan425 2 years ago

          Or that MLB Trade Rumors didn’t supply you with a 3 paragraph description of the guy…

          • Guest 2 years ago

            Along with links to his player page listing all relevant statistics from all levels of pro-ball.

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

          I still get the print edition of MLBtr.

      • Reading is hard.

      • vtadave 2 years ago

        Yeah not like there is that ol’ baseball reference site or anything.

  2. GetTheRunnerOver 2 years ago

    Whoever that is, sad to say the odds are largely against him.

    • vtadave 2 years ago

      Actually, I think he’s a lock to contend for a Cy Young this year.

  3. Matt Rouscher 2 years ago

    It’d be hilarious is Knapp went back to the phillies and became dominant again, so it’s like the indians never acquired him

    • gson 2 years ago

      why is that ‘hilarious’?

      • rouscher 2 years ago

        Well not hilarious, but kinda ironic more, i guess, im not sure how to describe it. But to trade a guy have him do nothing for the team. Have him come back to the team that drafted him and succeed would be kinda cool i guess

      • sportsnut969 2 years ago

        It is Hilarious because everybody that knows the history of this deal knows it is thought that the Phillies did a job on the indians and Knapp was damaged goods from the get go.

    • Sufferfortribe 2 years ago

      It’s not like we really have anything to show from that trade……unless Carlos actually learns how to control his temper and pitch this year……….sigh.

    • Ryan 2 years ago

      It will never happen. I mean in 10 years, when Knapp is 33, then I could see Amaro having interest in a two year deal. But not now, too young for Rube’s taste.

      • rouscher 2 years ago

        I mean its true, he’s probably sitting back, licking his chops that this guy could come back, he’s probably about to offer a 10 year 55 million dollar deal with a player option for an 11th year

  4. bob smit 2 years ago

    Another gamble for the Indians to take? Very low risk and cheap one? Sounds right up their alley!

  5. Matt Grant 2 years ago

    Beane, jump on this

  6. jjs91 2 years ago

    Well the yankees did say they wanted to copy their 2011 strategy of signing question marks to minor league deals.

  7. letsgogiants 2 years ago

    Wow, almost forgot about him. Here’s to hoping for a solid comeback.

  8. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Well, he is only 23.
    The biggest question should be: Will he be able to pitch during spring training.
    If yes, the O’s should sign him.
    If no, then let someone else sign him.

  9. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    He will soon be one of the most sought after players on a league minimum minor league deal

  10. meep 2 years ago

    a comeback at the age of 23 never heard that before. if he get sign this sure will be a low risk high reward type of deal.

  11. Tigers72 2 years ago

    He has age on his side and he has a mid nineties fastball. I think he could be at least a good reliever and maybe a 3/4 starter but probably not an ace.

  12. charles stevens 2 years ago

    He might have a shot to make it coming back as a reliever. He’s just 23 with a plus fastball. The fewer innings he pitches the longer before that shoulder blows up again.

    • dc21892 2 years ago

      Having had shoulder surgery, it’s safe to say your shoulder doesn’t just “blow up.” Will pitching help his cause? Not at all, but he’s young still. His biggest concern will be when he’s 35 and has no mobility from the constant strain and 2 surgeries he’s already had.

      • WazBazbo 2 years ago

        Here’s an interesting question to ponder… if you could make a deal with fate, and you get 15 guaranteed good to all-star years in MLB, BUT you’re going to have chronic health problems (let’s go with “eternally sore shoulder, since this is a thread about a pitcher) after you retire… do you do it?

        • charles stevens 2 years ago

          Absolutely. When you get older everything hurts regardless.

      • charles stevens 2 years ago

        Thank you for your expert shoulder analysis!!!

  13. MacK Korris 2 years ago

    I’m not sure how so many people haven’t heard of him..? Always thought it was a shame that he retired last year. He was the key to the Cliff Lee deal after all. Lee wouldn’t be a Phillie if Knapp wasn’t included in that deal.

    • KJ4realz 2 years ago

      He was like 19 I believe when the deal went down and you had 3 other big league ready prospects that came back in the deal. He was the main piece but he wasn’t really looked at that way since the other 3 were viewed as solid contributors that could make the big club right away. At the time, a lot of people were upset about losing Carrasco. Knapp really was an overlooked centerpiece of the deal.

      Anyway, come back to Philly :)

  14. Vinnie White 2 years ago

    Rockies get all over this please.

  15. phillies1102 2 years ago

    I think there’s a very good chance that he could return as a reliever by 2015

  16. Zak A 2 years ago


    • Ryan 2 years ago

      Too young for RAJ. Knapp needs to age 10 years, have another surgery, play under a fake name, and become Latino, THEN RAJ will be first in line with a two year deal.

      • Zak A 2 years ago

        Well he already was a Philly, RAJ always says “backsies?” see: d’Arnaud.

  17. Serge Jays Fan 2 years ago

    Howdy! How are You? I remember about Him, in that trade, He was very well sought of and it is very sad the He had Health Problems, but it is very Positive now that He wants to make a comeback, We will see what will happen in His Destiny in the Future, maybe the Jays can give Him a Chance, on a try out contract, Who knows, if Mr Crasnick is saying He is Healthy and looking fine, well We have to believe Mr Crasnick, because He is a very Reliable and very very Responsible and very Serious MLB Reporter and Insider so We can rely on Him very much. So it is kind of a Good News. I wish Mr Knapp All the Best and I Support and Encourage Him in His Endeavor of a Comeback.
    It will be Excellent News. Take care All of You and have a Sunny Day in Your Hearts.

    • Carroll Bolon 2 years ago

      You as Well, Sir. May the Heavens smile upon you as a Cliff Lee outside Corner fastball doth to a Catcher’s glove.

      • neurogame 2 years ago

        And may a Clayton Kershaw Uncle Charlie curve ball smite those whose steal signs and complain about who is only allowed to swim in whose pool of water.

  18. thekidfromyesterday 2 years ago

    I thought he’d be some washed up guy, but 23. Anything is possible with that, wouldn’t be a bad signing for Wren.

  19. Matt Talbert 2 years ago

    True possible landing spots: NYY, Pittsburgh, Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore….I see one of these teams signing him…would be cheap and could potentially help one of these rotations in the short term.

  20. Guest 2 years ago

    Looks like everybody is making a comeback

  21. Muggi 2 years ago

    Who knows, maybe the Phils take a shot on him. He’s a local kid and was a huge fan.

  22. neurogame 2 years ago

    When I read “attempting comeback,” I figured it was a guy in his mid or late 30s who got tired of taking the kids to school and pacing around his house. It’s crazy that Knapp is only 23. Taking all that time off and just allowing his young shoulder to rest and heal rather than rehab through baseball activities probably did him some good all around, physically and mentally. Best of luck to him. 23 is young and he still has a bunch of upside.

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