Dec 11: The Brewers are acquiring southpaw Leo Crawford to complete the Knebel trade, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and others (via Twitter). The Brewers sent Knebel to the Dodgers just before the non-tender deadline. In Crawford, they’re getting a 23-year-old lefty who reached Double-A in 2019. Between High-A and Double-A, Crawford pitched to a 2.81 ERA across 121 2/3 innings with 9.9 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9. Some comparisons have been drawn to Brent Suter in terms of his deception and projectionable functionality as a starter who could work out of the bullpen depending on need.
Dec 2: The Dodgers announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Corey Knebel from the Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. The trade comes after Knebel was reportedly set to be non-tendered, but it appears that the Brewers instead found an eleventh-hour trade for the former All-Star closer. He’ll still be eligible for arbitration with the Dodgers.
Knebel, 29, struggled this past season in his comeback from 2019 Tommy John surgery. The 2017 All-Star was rocked for a 6.08 ERA with a 15-to-8 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings — his first action on a big league mound since the end of the 2018 campaign.
There were plenty of red flags for Knebel in 2020, most notably a 94.4 mph average fastball velocity that sat three miles per hour shy of its 2017 peak. That said, Knebel’s velocity began to trend upward late in the season, which could have been enough to give the Dodgers hope that he’ll regain some of the life on his heater next year when he’s another season removed from surgery.
Knebel’s struggles in 2020 should prevent him from taking home much of a raise on his $5.125MM salary from this past season, so he’ll be an affordable, high-upside roll of the dice for a Dodgers club that hasn’t been afraid to take chances when it comes to buying low on formerly elite relievers.
From 2017-18 with the Brewers, Knebel racked up 55 saves while pitching to a 2.54 ERA and 2.74 FIP over the course of 131 1/3 innings. Along the way he emerged as one of the game’s premier strikeout artists, averaging an obscene 14.7 K/9 and punching out 40.2 percent of the hitters he faced on the whole.
Obviously, that was two years and one major surgery ago, but the Dodgers will hope for a return to form in what will be Knebel’s final season prior to free agency. If they can successfully round him into form, he’ll join a late-inning mix featuring Kenley Jansen, Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly, although the Dodgers figure to further supplement that group between now and Opening Day.
Well that was fast. He would have fit on so many teams. On the Dodgers he doesnt have to be impactful immediately
Exactly, excellent pick up.
That’s what she said.
Well, that escalated quickly.
Another under the radar move the dodgers make…
How is this under the radar?
His radar is on the moon.
Well it was leaked he was being DFA’d and it seems every other team was content to wait for him to be a FA instead of working out a last minute deal
The dodgers gave away a likely non consequential player and picked up a former all star while everyone sat on their thumbs, for 5M? LAD gave Trenien double that last year for a similar situation. If it’s not under the radar, it’s certainly sly
Gavin Lux back to the good land! (I kid, so kid.)
the land of milk and cheese!
That’s awesome! The Dodgers didn’t waste any time
Crazy how fast he fell off a cliff
Well he had Tommy john so..
Yea that’ll do it
Yeah, but some guys don’t reach full strength their first year back. Plus, in 2020, there’s a loooong list of guys who had the worst years of their careers. If he struggles in 2021, then it’s fair to say he won’t be the same again.
cutting it close, eh?
Credit to the couple of posters who predicted Knebel to the Dodgers in the other thread. You were correct… and quickly.
And demerit to trolls claiming to know relatives
My sister went to college with Cory Spangenberg’s ex-girlfriend. Aren’t I cool?
When small market teams are Large Market AAA farms. At least Mil will get something vs the nothing they were about to. Took away Kneble’s ability to chose who’d he play for next season.
Is that really the case here though? Knebel only has one truly great season under his belt, underwent Tommy John surgery, struggled in his return and his fastball averaged about 2 MPH less than it did when he was last seen pitching. It’s definitley a risk by the Dodgers.
True, but generally when it’s a PTBNL or cash, a team isn’t giving up very much, so the risk is low. Seems like a fairly classic “buy low and hope for a rebound” situation.
LA did the same thing last year with Blake Treinan and that worked out pretty well. Both are good insurance in case our close de camp struggles again.
Yeah, it is risky move, especially when the Dodgers pay 5-6M for him and a prospect. Hopefully im wrong though and Corey can perform like in 2018..
And good luck for Brewers fan who thinking they got Gavin Lux in return..
the problem is that the Dodgers can risk that 6 mil on a gamble. the Brewers can’t. its not an even playing field
To be fair, it was truly great. His 2017 was spectacular. But good deal for the Crew, at least getting some low level lottery pick or cash is better than the non tender.
Hopefully it builds a dialogue for a further reliever trade. Ruiz and/or Rios fills holes for Milwaukee.
You won’t get Rios or Ruiz. Geez!
Maybe for Hader. Lol
How’s Kershaws FB and pitching ability treating LA these days? Throwing 94-95 is still gas. 2020 Knenle returned from TJ and had to deal with new catchers in a very small sample. Trevor May is making 7+mil a year and doesnt come close to Kneble’s 2017. Arb Dodgers can offer 4-4.75mil and Kneble isnt likely to ask for much more than 5.5mil and expect to win. Thats pretty good money for the potential.
I’d take Trevor May over Corey Knebel as of now. As good as Knebel’s 2017 was, this is 2020 and he is a major question mark going forward. Perhaps he will regain his dominant form, perhaps not. May meanwhile has put up dominant numbers the past couple of years and boasts an elite strikeout rate during that time period. Knebel is a great gamble for the Dodgers, but I’ll take Trevor May over him all day.
And pay 2+mil a year for 2 years doing so. So in that regard May had better perform better.
Yeah, must really be disappointing to be traded to the World Champs and not have to take a pay cut. How unfair!!
That wasn’t a surprise. The Dodgers are the kings of reliever reclamation projects on guys that had one monster year, then had a terrible one.
I love our management team.
Time for a new name
Or just remove the “i”. Pugs are cool.
LOL! Puig is a part of our history man, LA loves Puig
Nah… we don’t.
Yeah I was quite content to see Puig go, and the team chemistry improved significantly due in part to the fact that Puig was gone.
Big Athletic Supporter...
Not all LA loves Puig, fans of consistency, accountability & respect of your teammates beg to differ
I loved Puig’s passion and enthusiasm. As a rookie, he put up some elite numbers and things looked promising. That was short lived though and he started to rub teammates the wrong way. He was probably the dumbest player I’ve seen in a while. Constant base running mistakes, making dumb throws, swinging at bad pitches. It’s a shame because he had all the tools to be great.
No, didn’t love Puig before and don’t love him now.
Wait me too lol
Miggy will be in the HOF so your name never gets old. Respect.
Our friend Puig will obviously not be a dodger again but I am still and will continue to be a fan of the guy. And I think you’ll see a good comeback this season
I wore a Puig shirt today so… nah
Past time puigpower.
Few pitchers hit the ground running following TJ.. It usually takes a year back to get close to normal. If Knebel was showing increased velocity as the 2020 season came to an end, that is a very encouraging sign. Dodgers may have just pulled off a good one here.
I love having ownership who cares about winning more than the pandemic
Would be something to reload bullpen with former all stars on bargain deals. Opens up some young guys to be trade pieces as well
Exactly I want brad hand next. Then maybe try and trade kenley for far off players. Would be nice to free up some cap space
I would love Hand too. Would fit in really nice. Kenley still has value in middle relief and it’s his last year in blue.
Agree with PuigP below, even if you don’t want Kenley closing, he has value on the team
And really, they’d have to pay down probably half his salary to get a good return. Imo they’d rather ride with Kenley for another year, then he walks
it’s time to cut Kenley loose. he and the Doyers need a change in scenery. Having Urias close out game 6 in the WS says everything about Kenley’s role going forward…
Urias closed it out because he was killing it and Robert’s wasn’t about to look like Kevin Cash and steal that negative spotlight. If Urias had allowed two base runners I guarantee Kenley would have then come in. Kenley may not be our best relief pitcher anymore but he’s still in the top 2 or 3 so if you cut him loose you just made our bullpen worse.
Called it! I knew they would pick him up. Treinen, McGee and Baez are not coming back
I can’t wait for Baez to be officially gone. I have been wanting the Dodgers to get rid of him for years. The guy regularly blows games when pitching in important situations. I always cringe when he comes into a close game.
Would like Treinen back also.
Tommy Jon surgery is a pre-requisite for Dodgers and pitchers
For World Series MVP shortstops as well.
You realize only Buehler has had TJS for the entire rotation…? What an ignorant comment
Doesn’t just about every pitching staff have 2 or 3 TJ recoveries within the last few years?
Great pick up if he’s healthy, dodgers can easily absorb the cost of he’s not.
Friedman is back in the injury-prone, hope it works out, pitcher market.
News flash: Most relief pitchers have an injury history. Its a volatile position.
Ok who are we going to deal away now. Hopefully two or three low production players from the minors.
For a soon to be non-tendered guy before the trade, I would suspect some pine tar, a rosin bag, and some blue face masks. They are Pantone 294, but close enough for the newer Brewer shade of blue.
Knebel will be back to his old self probably by mid season. At the end of last year we were starting to see that out of him. I thought they would keep him to help Williams ease into the closing position after trading Hader but I can live with them bringing back Jeffress to do that
Several years ago, I was down in Lakeland, FL for the Tigers spring training with a buddy I knew who wrote for a Detroit sports paper… we meet Mike Henneman at an Applebee’s and wind up having a chat. Henneman, who is a pitching coach at some level for the Tigers, says Knebel is a stud pitcher, one of the best arms he had seen and knew the guy was going to be solid in the show. He was a pitching coach at some level for the Tigers, no one listened to him, but he knew, and they gave him away for Joakim Soria who gave them 52 innings over two seasons, plus one inning of getting rocked by the Orioles for 5 runs in an ALDS loss. Tigers sure could have used Knebel’s 228 innings since they dealt him away in 2014. Henneman was spot on.
Damn! At first glance I read that as Craig Kimbrel. Dreams shattered
At first glance, I read Corey Kluber. That one would have been a head-scratcher.
I’d like to see the Dodgers take a chance on another reclaim project, Carlos Rondon if they can get him on the cheap after being non-tendered.
I hope the Dodgers continue to stockpile bullpen arms. I saw where the Reds non-tendered Archie Bradley. I wouldn’t have a problem seeing him in Blue. I suspect however he will be the most sought after of all the non-tendered relievers.
I agree with both of these thoughts. He would be an interesting buy low guy. Can be wild IIRC, but has some decent numbers last couple years
Would like to see what the Dodgers coaches and drive land can do to help Archie Bradley. I always thought Bradley was done wrong by Arizona he was a good starting pitcher, but as a reliever ha has not gotten better,
Of course there is a point where the Dodgers need to just spend the money and get a closer. And no I’m not sold on Urias or Graterol in that role. Just grab Hendricks, Hand, or Rosenthal and move on.
Urias is going to be in the rotation but I would not rule out May as a back-end reliever and possible future closer. More likely Graterol is being groomed for that role. In the meantime it should be closing by committee, which means picking up one of the names you suggest. I think Alex Colome should also be in that conversation. No idea why his name never seems to come up.
They will give a starting pitching prospect all the chances to succeed in the rotation before forcing them to the back of the pen. It’s just a value thing
Of course, which is why I said it could not be ruled out. Only just a possible future for him if he isn’t able to perfect his off-speed stuff. He will need that third quality pitch to be a starter. Work in progress.
I think what we saw this postseason we will see again next postseason, especially if the norm occurs. The trio of Urias, May, & Gonsolin are not stretched out to go post to post, plus playoffs. The pen honestly looks pretty set with a 26 man roster. The one area that may be addressed may be that other LH RP which was lost with the Ferg injury.
That only works if you assume May and Gonsolin aren’t used much if at all outside of opening/relief roles all season. Urias I believe is not even in that category. He’s already shown that he is not at all fragile and almost a total lock to be the #3. Believe they still need to add at least one more reliever, possibly two if Knebel is treated as a throw of the dice.
How about bringing back Jake Mcgee until Victor Gonzales proves himself. I really liked him in the playoffs,
We saw where Urius was a superstar, that’s in a late game multiple inning role. I’m sure he will get some starts this year, but look for him to settle into the role that made him famous when it counts. Why trade for a Josh Hader, when you have a guy who has already closed out the NLCS & WS in that role.
Last season Urias made 11 appearances, 10 of them were starts, which his far different than how he was used the previous year when he was being held back by lingering concerns over his shoulder surgery. Those concerns are now gone, and the player is openly anxious to return to his starter role, which he will because he isn’t being paid to be famous, he’s being paid to pitch. Short of some unforeseen event, he will be the #3 starter for the Dodgers in 2021.
Disagree & as far as I’ve heard from people around the team, they love him in the role he finished the season in.
David Price #3 starter
The way he was used last year disagrees with what you have supposedly heard and it’s common knowledge that Urias was not happy to have been babied in 2019. In the postseason anything can happen and starters often are used as relievers but that doesn’t make them part of the bullpen. Everybody is bound to love what Urias accomplished in the postseason this year but what that proves is he’s finally ready to throw some real innings, not be relegated to the pen. Price and Urias could be 3 or 4 depending mostly on how Price looks after a year’s layoff. My guess is not as sharp as Urias, who is young and on the upswing, while Price is late in his career and in decline.
forgot about David Price! Didn’t he used to be good or something?
He was great, in 2015.
price and Urias 3 or 4 who cares, but I could see Kershaw, Buehler, Urias, May, and Price. Left-right left as Price didn’t pitch in 2020 he may need to get extra days off.
why put guy in the bullpen for 2 innings when he can dominate a lineup for 7?
In 19, he was in the pen because of his surgery. Not because that was his future
Price had a 3.00 era in 19 before he started pitching injured, to prove to Eckersley he was tough. To pretend David Price suddenly doesn’t know how to pitch is foolish
A good response to an argument nobody made.
Some guys need a year after TJS. This is not a bad pickup for the Dodgers.
Glad Stearns was able to pull a lottery prospect out of the deal. Good luck to Knebel in LA.
wow, solid pickup for a potential non-tender
Typo in the recent add on I think. “The Dodgers are sending…
Thank you for the correction, the article, and all the great work you al do here. .
Actually the Dodgers are sending Crawford. You might want to fix that first line.
the dodgers are sending the crawford to MIl, not the brewers
Milwaukee is the Brewers am I missing something?
The article was corrected. Originally it said the Brewers were sending Crawford.
Meh. This deal seems okay but I hope they have a more established bullpen arm ready to acquire. Looking at his numbers he has very strikeout capability but struggles with command. Allowing 4.0 walks per 9 innings. Hard to be dominating when you struggle with command so much. Constantly pitching with traffic is a bad recipe. We already have one reliever who struggles mightily with command and makes every situation a who knows what’s going to happen situation. Now, we have two guys like that? Difficult for a manager to rely on guys like this.
If Knebel comes back, it’s a great move for the Dodgers.
Lol well then if Knebel doesn’t comeback, it’s a great move for the crew.
That’s a pretty nice return for Milwaukee for a player they were about to reportedly non-tender.
This ups the investment for LA a bit, but I still think second year away from TJ will be fine for Knebel and next August the baseball world will be calling this a great pickup for a World Series favorite.
The rich get richer