The main focus for the Los Angeles Dodgers so far this offseason has been improving their bullpen, although to this point, they haven’t spent a lot of money or resources to do so.
The biggest move they made was trading for former All-Star closer Corey Knebel, who was set to be non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers then signed a couple of lottery tickets, bringing back familiar faces like Brandon Morrow and Jimmy Nelson in hopes that they can get healthy and return to their respective 2017 forms.
Additionally, the Dodgers also brought in another injured reliever in Tommy Kahnle, who underwent Tommy John surgery this past August. The former New York Yankees reliever was signed to a two-year contract to hopefully pitch for the Dodgers once he recovers in 2022.
Kahnle’s contract is worth a reported $4.25 million and also includes incentives based on games pitched, per the Associated Press:
The former Yankees reliever had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and is unlikely to pitch next season, but the 31-year-old can earn up to $750,000 in performance bonuses in 2022 — $250,000 for appearing in 60 games and $500,000 for 70 appearances.
Kahnle only appeared in one game for the Yankees in 2020 due to the elbow injury, but he was solid for them in 2019. In 72 appearances, Kahnle pitched to a 3.67 ERA, 3.33 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 88 strikeouts and 20 walks in 61.1 innings.
If he is able to replicate that season for the Dodgers in 2022, he would easily earn all $750,000 in incentives, which the organization would surely be happy to give him for that type of production.
Despite all the moves the Dodgers have already made, it seems that they are not done adding to their bullpen this offseason. Liam Hendriks, Blake Treinen and Brad Hand are the best names available on the free-agent market and all have been linked to L.A. this winter.
Kahnle chose Dodgers over Red Sox
Shortly after Kahnle inked his contract with the Dodgers, it was reported that the Boston Red Sox were also one of the teams that seriously pursued him.
Considering the Red Sox are currently going through a rebuild, it makes perfect sense for a veteran reliever to choose to sign with the Dodgers, who have revived plenty of careers in recent years, over Boston.
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