The wait is finally over. With the hours ticking down until the MLB locks out the players union, ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Philadelphia Phillies are in agreement with right-handed reliever Corey Knebel. The deal is currently pending a physical.
In 27 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, Knebel posted a 2.45 ERA and 30 strikeouts across 25.2 innings pitched. While he only tallied four saves this season in a crowded Dodger bullpen, he was an All-Star closer for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017. That year he converted 39 out of 45 save opportunities with a 1.78 ERA.
For a Phillies bullpen that has been much maligned and recently lost Hector Neris, Knebel represents a big gain as their first move of the offseason. As is, he figures to be the top candidate for the closer role.
Should Philadelphia add a bigger name closer once the lockout is lifted, Knebel has experience in just about every relief role. For Los Angeles, he even started a few games including two in the playoffs. His experience in different roles and in the playoff will be heavily impactful as the Phillies look to end their decade long postseason drought.
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