6:35pm: Though the contract is a minor league pact, there’s a club option for the 2020 season attached to the deal, tweets Robert Murray of The Athletic. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets that the deal comes with an $850K base salary and $250K of incentives in 2019, while the 2020 option is for a guaranteed $1.25MM with another $1.25MM worth of incentives.
The lack of a spring invite isn’t really an indication of Koehler’s ability level so much as it is a reflection of his health status. As Biertempfel notes, the 32-year-old is still on a lengthy rehab timeline after undergoing shoulder surgery in July. There’s no clear timetable for his return at this point.
This time last year, Koehler looked to be an intriguing addition to the Dodgers’ pitching staff. Long a useful but underwhelming starter, Koehler had a nice run upon moving to the bullpen and altering his pitch mix late in the 2017 campaign. He ultimately turned in a 17-inning stretch over which he racked up an 18:6 K/BB ratio and permitted only five earned runs, which prompted Los Angeles to add him on a big league deal. However, a spring shoulder injury prevented him from logging a single inning during the 2018 season.
If Koehler can get back to full health, he could be a worthwhile asset for the Bucs — likely in the bullpen at this juncture. For the time being, the focus will simply be on rebuilding physical strength and putting the shoulder injury behind him to the extent possible.