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October 13, 2017

Kahnle was definitely the third name, behind Todd Frazier and David Robertson, in the July trade that now looks like one of the best of the season, as Yankees GM Brian Cashman got that trio from the White Sox in exchange for Blake Rutherford (a top prospect, but one who mustered just two home runs this year), reliever Tyler Clippard and two lesser farmhands. Which is crazy, as Kahnle was so dominant this year that he’d probably have been the closer on half the teams in baseball. Armed with a fastball that averaged 98 miles an hour, his 13.79 strikeouts per nine innings trailed only Craig Kimbrel, Corey Knebel and Kenley Jansen among pitchers who worked 60 innings. Joe Girardi likes to use Aroldis Chapman for two inning stretches this time of year—but he had to notice his closer’s velocity dropped in his second frame during an ultimately successful ALDS Game 5 save. Expect Kahnle to get at least a few of those high leverage late innings going forward.

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