The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Leo Crawford to the Milwaukee Brewers as the player to be named later in the Corey Knebel deal that was struck on Dec. 2. L.A. had agreed to send a player at a later date or cash considerations in exchange for the former All-Star closer.
Crawford joined the Dodgers organization when he was signed as an international free agent out of Nicaragua in 2014. The southpaw began his professional career with the Dominican Summer League Dodgers the following year, and pitched for the Great Lakes Loons and in the Arizona League in 2016.
Crawford reached Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2018 — though only appeared in one game. He spent last year with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes before finishing with the Tulsa Drillers. Crawford was not included in the Dodgers’ player pool for the 2020 season.
He was selected as an MiLB.com Organization All-Star in 2018 and 2019. Other accolades include Pitcher of the Week honors with the Loons (2017), Quakes (2018 and 2019) and Drillers (2019).
Crawford went 33-26 with a 3.22 ERA in 107 games (88 starts) over five seasons in the Dodgers farm system. The Brewers announced the 23-year-old will be in Minor League camp for Spring Training.
Dodgers take chance with Knebel
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently mentioned adding more variety to the bullpen was an offseason goal. Although the group excelled this past season, several relief pitchers profile as sinker ballers and two-seam throwers.
Knebel breaks from that mold, even if there are other questions surrounding him. The right-hander initially struggled this year upon returning from Tommy John surgery, but was improved after coming off the 10-day injured list due to a hamstring strain.
Knebel was regularly touching the mid-90s on his fastball velocity, allowed just two runs and held opponents to a .167/.286/.250 batting line over 6.2 innings across six appearances during the final month of the regular season.
The trade provides some insurance for the Dodgers should they lose Pedro Baez and Blake Treinen in free agency. For his part, Knebel is excited to be with the team and compete for a World Series.
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