Dec. 20: The Dodgers formally announced the signing of Koehler today. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweets that the righty will earn $2MM and can earn incentives based on games started and relief appearances. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale adds that Koehler would earn $1.25MM for starting 25 games and $500K for making 60 total appearances.
Dec. 15: The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year deal with righty Tom Koehler, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter). Financial details are not yet known. Koehler is represented by Pro Agents, Inc.
Koehler, 31, was non-tendered by the Blue Jays after the 2017 season. He had been projected to earn a hefty $6MM via arbitration. Koehler remains eligible to be tendered arbitration after the 2018 season.
Given the salary, that decision came as little surprise. But it’s also not hard to see why the reigning National League champs have made a move to bring in the veteranr right-hander.
While he struggled badly in the first half of the 2017 season, Koehler rebounded upon going to the Jays, where he moved into the bullpen and increasingly favored his curve over his slider. Over 17 frames, Koehler allowed five earned runs on 16 hits and six walks while recording 18 strikeouts.
Though it seems clear the Dodgers will use Koehler out of the bullpen, it doesn’t hurt that he comes with a long track record as a starter. Through 749 2/3 career innings working out of the rotation, Koehler carries a 4.44 ERA. In addition to multi-inning capacity, he has also generally proven to be effective against opposite-handed batters. While lefties knocked Koehler around in 2017, he actually carries slight reverse platoon splits for his career.