The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a number of additions to their bullpen this winter, acquiring Corey Knebel from the Milwaukee Brewers and signing the likes of Brandon Morrow, Brock Stewart and Jimmy Nelson to Minor League contracts.
The club more recently brought back Blake Treinen on a two-year contract with a team option for the 2023 season. They also continue to show interest in the likes of Liam Hendriks and Brad Hand, who would help fortify the closer role.
While each of the aforementioned players would contribute out of the bullpen this season, the Dodgers have also targeted relievers who could potentially help them in the future. This was evident when they inked former New York Yankees right-hander Tommy Kahnle to a two-year contract.
Kahnle is expected to miss the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. While a full recovery typically takes 12-15 months, he is hoping to overcome the odds and pitch for the Dodgers this year, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“I’m definitely trying to, hopefully, pitch [in 2021],” Kahnle said in a phone interview Wednesday. “But I mean, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. But I would like to. It’s just the mentality. You don’t want to miss out on a year. Especially because you know they’re going to be in contention. You know there’s a good chance we’re going back to the World Series. So, I want to be playing a part of it instead of sitting there and watching it happen.”
Kahle only appeared in one game for the Yankees last season, throwing 20 pitches in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals on July 26. He felt discomfort two days later during a bullpen session and didn’t pitch again.
Prior to that, Kahnle had established himself as a key member of the Yankees bullpen. In 2019, he pitched to a 3.67 ERA, 3.33 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 88 strikeouts and 20 walks over 61.1 innings (72 appearances).
While there’s no guarantee Kahnle will return to that level, he at the very least provides the Dodgers insurance with Knebel, Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly set to reach free agency at the end of the 2021 season.
Kahnle contract includes incentives, signing bonus
Kahnle’s two-year pact with the Dodgers reportedly includes a $550,000 signing bonus and incentives based on the number of games he pitches. He could potentially earn an extra $750,000 in 2021 and another $3.45 million the following year.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!