Los Angeles signed Koehler, a longtime starter for the Marlins, to a one-year, $2MM deal this winter in the hopes of converting him into a bullpen piece. The 32-year-old had made just one relief appearance from 2014-17 when the Blue Jays picked him up and shifted him to the ’pen last season. That experiment apparently piqued the interest of the Dodgers, who’d hoped Koehler could be a low-cost replacement for Brandon Morrow, who departed via free agency over the winter.
That, of course, has not been how things have panned out. Koehler was diagnosed with an anterior capsule strain early in Spring Training and had a setback in his recovery in June. The hope at the time of that setback was that he’d be able to join the Dodgers in August, but he’ll now miss the entire season and could quite likely see his Dodgers tenure end altogether without throwing so much as a single pitch in a game setting.
The Dodgers will have the option of retaining Koehler via arbitration, as he’ll finish out the season with five years, 152 days of Major League service time. Koehler wouldn’t earn a raise in arbitration after missing the entire season, but he’d likely command a salary identical to this season’s $2MM mark. Even the deep-pocketed Dodgers seem likely to non-tender him given that fact, though they could certainly bring him back to the organization on a minor league contract.