LOS ANGELES — It is almost an annual tradition for the Dodgers to take a flyer on a reclamation project in their bullpen. And often those gambles involve former All-Star closers.
They acquired right-hander Corey Knebel from the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday to fill that role for 2021. The Brewers had planned to non-tender Knebel, making him a free agent, but instead traded him to the Dodgers just before the deadline in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
A first-round draft pick out of the University of Texas in 2013, Knebel made it to the majors in 2014 with the Detroit Tigers before having a fairly successful four-season run with the Brewers topped by an All-Star appearance in 2017 when he converted 39 of 45 save chances with a 1.78 ERA.
In 2018, Knebel appeared in six of the seven NLCS games between the Brewers and Dodgers, striking out 10 of the 24 batters he faced and allowing just two hits in seven innings.
But he missed the entire 2019 season following Tommy John surgery and had a 6.08 ERA in 13-1/3 innings this past season after returning.
Knebel, 29, earned $5.125 million for each of the past two seasons. He joins six other arbitration-eligible players on the Dodgers’ current roster – shortstop Corey Seager, outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger, pitchers Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Dylan Floro and catcher Austin Barnes.