Dodgers Sign Tommy Kahnle To Contract Through 2022 Season

The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized the signing of relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle to a two-year contract that extends through the 2022 season. Coupled with their trade for Garrett Cleavinger, the Dodgers’ 40-man roster now has 39 players on it.

Reports of Kahnle and the Dodgers reaching an agreement first surfaced last week. He is said to have chosen L.A. over joining the Boston Red Sox, who reportedly presented the right-hander with a similar contract offer.

The team did not disclose financial terms, but per multiple reports, Kahnle’s multi-year deal with the Dodgers was for $4.75 million and included a signing bonus along with performance incentives.

The 31-year-old is not expected to pitch during the 2021 season as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery. Kahnle appeared in one game for the New York Yankees this year, throwing 20 pitches in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals on July 26.

He felt discomfort in his elbow during a bullpen session two days later, which prompted an MRI that revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament and led to the season-ending surgery.

Before 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 in 72 appearances.

Andrew Friedman retooling Dodgers bullpen

Although Kahnle likely will not pitch for the Dodgers until 2022, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has diligently worked to address a bullpen he identified as a point of emphasis.

The Dodgers recently completed a trade for Corey Knebel, who had a strong showing over the final month of the 2020 season as he began to shake off rust after missing all of 2019 while recovering from his own Tommy John surgery.

L.A. still figures to add another relief pitcher or two this winter, with the likes of Pedro Baez, Jake McGee and Blake Treinen among conceivable options. The Dodgers have also been linked to Liam Hendriks, but it’s unclear if Friedman would be willing to make the requisite financial commitment for arguably one of the game’s top closers.

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