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Dodgers: Corey Knebel Trade Reportedly Nearly Didn’t Happen



If you listen to a number of industry insiders, the feeling is that the Dodgers got a steal when they traded for 2017 All-Star reliever Corey Knebel on Wednesday. But that trade was never supposed to happen.

According to Robert Murray of FanSided, the right-hander and his former club in Milwaukee were working up against the non-tender deadline on a deal to keep him a Brewer. Like, literally minutes. 

10 minutes before the non-tender deadline, a Brewers executive with direct knowledge of the situation said that it was “looking like Corey Knebel won’t get (a deal) done” and that a non-tender appeared imminent.

Five minutes before the deadline, the Brewers reached an agreement to send Knebel to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Knebel is only two years removed from being one of the top closers in the National League. And in one of those seasons, he was recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery (Tommy John). Understandably, as Murray notes, if Knebel were to hit the free agent market, a number of teams likely would have been all over the once-dominant reliever. Now, thankfully for Dodger fans, Andrew Friedman was able to swing a deal for a much-needed backend of the bullpen arm for a team that lost two top options in Pedro Baez and Blake Treinen.

The right-hander has two more seasons of team control. Moreover, after a season that saw him post an ERA over 6 in 15 games, he shouldn’t expect much of a raise over the prorated $5.125 million he earned in 2020.

Knebel joins Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, and Brusdar Graterol as the top right-handed options out of the Dodger bullpen. Fortunately, the offseason is still young.

NEXT: How New Reliever Corey Knebel Hopes to Fit in With New Teammates

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. I wonder if Roberts will make Kenley “one of the closers”. I do not want to see him on the mound when the game is on the line. He had a great career, but the cutter does frighten anyone now. His legacy would be a lot better if he retired now, although that would be a costly decision.

  2. Can Kenley protect a 1 or 2 run lead in the 9th inning? Yes.

    Can Kenley be reliably depended upon to protect a 1 or 2 run lead in the 9th? No.

    It’s his reliability that is at issue, not his ability. He’s shown he can repeatedly. unfortunately he’s also shown he can’t do it over and over and especially not reliably in the extra high leverage situation of a critical playoff game. VERY sorry to remind that Father Time is undefeated. It happens to everyone, Kenley.

  3. ROBERTS and KENLEY must GO!!!!! The Dodgers have so much talent ,almost anyone could manage this team
    Except Roberts,..KEEP…Treinen… Knebel is and will definitely be a very good asset for the Dodgers, Glad it happened !!!

  4. The boy in blue have to rid themselves of Kenley… His production to earnings is way overboard..

  5. JANSEN and ROBERTS should be gone ,the talent on this Dodgers is so strong , almost anyone in the world could manage this team ….EXCEPT ROBERTS …. and it’s not the front office telling him what to do , especially in dealing with JANSEN , he is not even a middle reliever anymore , possibly having maybe (2) two pitches left , and there is very little movement on his pitches and the hitter gets a good at bat against him ,doing damage in the game , that is only if JANSEN doesn’t walk him first , a good move by the Dodgers picking up KNEBEL .

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