The Dodgers have reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Tom Koehler, first reported by Chris Cotillo.
Source: Dodgers in agreement with righty Tom Koehler on a 1-year deal, pending physical.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 16, 2017
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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