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Dodgers Reportedly Sign Tom Koehler

Sep 20, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Tom Koehler (34) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Tom Koehler, first reported by Chris Cotillo.

Koehler is a 31-year old pitcher, who has spent the bulk of his career as a starter but did make 14 relief appearances in 2017. Koehler had a rough start to the season, with a 7.92 ERA for Miami. Things turned around in a big way for the right-hander when he was traded to Toronto and made the transition to the bullpen. Koehler had a 2.65 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings while playing for the Blue Jays. Despite his success in the small sample, he was non-tendered by Toronto following the 2017 season.

Koehler debuted in 2012 with the Marlins, and became a mainstay in their rotation in 2013. He had some decent seasons while in Miami, including three straight seasons from 2014-2016 where he worked at least 175 innings. His best season was 2014, which saw him go 10-10 with a 3.81 ERA and 153 strikeouts over 191.1 innings. Since then, his stats have steadily declined but a move to the bullpen could be just the thing that revives his career.

What role the Dodgers want Koehler for is unclear, but he could be used as depth for the starting rotation. He could also follow the model of Joe Blanton and Brandon Morrow and transition to the bullpen full-time with the Dodgers. He has a 5-pitch arsenal, including a four-seam fastball, sinker, cutter, slider, and changeup. After his trade to Toronto, Koehler saw an increase in velocity on all of his pitches except his changeup, according to Fangraphs.

If Koehler does make the transition to the bullpen full time for the Dodgers, expect him to compete for a job on the MLB roster in Spring Training. While he may spend some time in the minors, like Morrow, it could be beneficial for him while he gets accustomed to his new role. The details of the contract have yet to be revealed, but Koehler likely represents a low-cost option that could potentially reward the Dodgers in a big way.

What do you think of the signing? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Hunter Thompson

Born in Pennsylvania but comes from a long line of Dodger fans from their Brooklyn days. Extremely passionate about the Dodgers and baseball in general. News writer and Twittercaster for Dodger games. Follow me on Twitter @Officialism27 for more Dodgers talk!

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  1. Be still my pounding heart. Oh, wait. It’s just the chile I had for lunch. Yawn. Wake me when the Dodgers brass decides to win a WS. I’m tired and have too few years left on this planet to waste on promises and strike outs.

  2. The Dodgers seem to be pretty good at finding some gems off the bargain rack, so we give this guy a chance.

  3. Always signing the non tendered, off the junk heap arms instead of bringing Morrow back to keep continuity in the bullpen. Getting the Braves to take the 2 albatross contracts was a great move. Welcome home Matt Kemp! Even if it may only be for a short time.

  4. One in a long line of ‘questionable’ moves by Friedman ! How about trading for Braun.. or some “bat” like that..

  5. Could be the Jays were on to something but couldn’t just hang on to see. Great upside potential at a bargain!
    As far as Morrow, I’ll miss him BUT…..How many times have we seen one year wonders fade in their encore? Brian Holton, anyone?

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