Experienced playoff starter Corey Knebel will open the 2022 season in a new home, signing a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Knebel signed a one-year contract, the team announced.
Knebel will be paid $10 million, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Knebel was one of Dave Roberts’ most trusted relievers last season, posting a 2.45 ERA and 2.90 FIP with 30 strikeouts (29.7 percent) and eight unintentional walks in 25⅔ innings, saving three games. Of his 27 appearances with the Dodgers, four came as an opener, a role he was used in twice (in a row) during the postseason.
Knebel was an opener for a Julio Urías bulk affair in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Giants, then the first of eight relief pitchers used in a true bullpen game in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Braves. Knebel had a 3.18 ERA in 5⅔ innings, pitching in seven of LA’s 12 playoff games, with 11 strikeouts and only one walk in 23 batters faced.
The Dodgers acquired Knebel from the Brewers at the 2020 tender deadline, sending minor league pitcher Leo Crawford to Milwaukee. Knebel missed 92 games from April to August on the injured list with a right lat strain.
Knebel made $5.25 million in 2021, avoiding salary arbitration in his final year before free agency.
Among various national free agent projections, only one predicted a contract for Knebel. MLB Trade Rumors projected he’d get two years, $18 million. MLBTR ranked Knebel the 38th-best free agent on the market, as did Ryan Fagan at The Sporting News. R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports ranked Knebel 32nd, and TSN had Knebel as the No. 41 free agent.
In seven major league seasons, Knebel has a 3.23 ERA and 3.27 FIP with 366 strikeouts and 115 walks in 262 innings, and 60 career saves.