The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a key piece to their bullpen at the start of the Winter Meetings, as right-hander Brandon Morrow agreed to a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. It’s considered a possibility that the Cubs will deploy Morrow as their closer.
While Morrow will not be easy to replace, particularly when taking into account he pitched in all but one of the Dodgers postseason games, including becoming the second pitcher ever to pitch in all seven games of a World Series, the team has multiple in-house options to make up for his loss.
Additionally, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said this week the Dodgers are focused on adding to their bullpen. While they left the Winter Meetings without being involved in any transactions, that appears to have changed.
According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Dodgers agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Tom Koehler:
Source: Dodgers in agreement with righty Tom Koehler on a 1-year deal, pending physical.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 16, 2017
Koehler was an 18th-round draft pick by the Miami Marlins in 2008 and spent his entire career in the organization until he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last August.
Koehler had some success in his six-year tenure with the Marlins, going 36-53 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 146 games (132 starts).
The 2017 season was a rough one for the 31-year-old, as in 12 starts with Miami he was 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA, 6.91 FIP and 1.73 WHIP in 55.2 innings. After being traded to Toronto, he was converted to a reliever, and it seemed to have done wonders for Koehler.
He yielded a 2.65 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 1.29 WHIP and averaged a career-best 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 15 appearances (17 innings pitched). Due to that success out of the bullpen and given the depth the Dodgers already have in their starting rotation, Koehler will likely be used as a reliever.
The Dodgers showed some interest in acquiring Koehler from the Marlins last May, although a deal never came to fruition.