Andrew Friedman has made it a common practice to sign or trade for once-promising players. Whether it be for a forgotten first baseman in Max Muncy, trading away a failed top prospect for the versatile Chris Taylor, or signing the future heart and soul of the team in Justin Turner, Friedman has done it all.
Last offseason, the Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations pulled off the signing of former All-Star closer Blake Treinen. While Treinen had established himself as a big name in the baseball world thanks in part due to a microscopic 0.78 ERA in 2018. His 2019 took a major step back which set up the Dodgers acquiring him for the 2020 season. He had a bounce-back year as he helped anchor the Dodgers’ pen during their championship run.
With Treinen hitting the free-agent market once again, Friedman seems to be up to his old ways of looking for a hidden gem. He may have potentially found one in former Brewer Corey Knebel.
"How many teams can go five or six deep like they can in the bullpen?"@Plesac19 and @DaveValleMLB give their thoughts on the @Dodgers acquisition of Corey Knebel. #MLBTonight pic.twitter.com/yWV7PVmQzB
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 4, 2020
The former closer was effective for the Brewers during his 6 years with the team. However, following his absence during the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, the Blue Brew did not see anything promising in his return this past season. That ultimately led to the team non tendering him before the trade to the Dodgers.
Brewers power-reliever Corey Knebel will play the 2019 season on a one-year, $5.125m contract.
— IKE Brewers Podcast (@IKE_Brewers) January 11, 2019
While the 29-year old reliever has been on a rocky road the past three years, Friedman and the front office must still see some promising things in him. He dominated his completion in 2017 in which he posted a 1.78 ERA with 126 strikeouts to only 40 walks in 76 innings. If he can discover what made him an All-Star, it makes the Dodgers bullpen that much more dangerous, even with the loss of Treinen. What’s even more tempting is if he can replicate his 0.90 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 10 Postseason innings as the Dodgers seek to repeat.