Ladies and gentlemen, they did it! Earlier this afternoon, the Phillies announced that they have signed RHP Corey Knebel to a one-year contract worth $10 million. The 30 year old is the first major free agent signing for the club this winter, and it was in a spot that needed improvement, the bullpen. Last season, Knebel did miss a lot of the season with a strained right lat, but when he did pitch, he was good. The right hander had a 2.45 ERA in the 27 games that he pitched in. He allowed 16 hits, 8 earned runs, and had 30 strikeouts over those 27 games. Although missing a lot of the season, Knebel was an important piece of the Dodgers bullpen down the stretch.
Knebel will definitely be an important part of the Phillies bullpen this upcoming season, and the team is hopeful that he will be able to help them out. They have already lost Hector Neris to the Houston Astros this offseason, and needed pieces even before that. Saying that, I do expect Dave Dombrowksi to make more moves related to the bullpen, whether it is for a legit closer or just adding several other pieces to the bullpen. Some names that personally stick out to me include Ryan Tepera, Richard Rodriguez, Mychal Givens, and maybe even bringing back Archie Bradley.
Overall, I am personally a fan of the signing of Corey Knebel. Yes, he has been injury prone the last few seasons, but when healthy, he has been on point. It was a much needed signing for the Phillies, and was a solid one to start off the offseason. I am expecting a lot more signings from Dombrowski and company, as the Phillies sure need a lot of pieces on their team. They need some outfield depth, more relievers, and possibly a shortstop if they trade Didi and do not believe in Bryson Stott yet (which they should).