The Dodgers traded pitching prospect Leo Crawford to the Brewers.
We’ve got ourselves a pretty fair deal now that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers have completed the Corey Knebel trade on Friday. Simply put, the Brewers were not paying $5+ million to Knebel, who has pitched in just 15 games since the start of 2019. That’s where the Dodgers came in.
The big market World Series champs needed bullpen help and saw an opportunity to snag Knebel at what they viewed as a good price for what they expect to be a rebound season in 2021. The Brewers were about to non-tender Knebel before the Dodgers came calling, so Milwaukee likely figured, “Hey, let’s get something out of this.”
And they did! The Dodgers sent lefty pitcher Leo Crawford to the Brew Crew on Friday to complete the trade.
Crawford was an international free agent signing of the Dodgers out of Nicaragua and the 23-year-old has been solid ever since starting his professional career in the states back in 2015. He’s yet to hit Major League Baseball, but he owns a 33-26 record with a 3.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 462 strikeouts in 107 games (88 starts) across every level of the minors.
The Dodgers did what they do best — they found a mid-level-priced arm in Knebel set to rebound after a shortened 2020 season (his first since undergoing Tommy John surgery) and traded from a position of surplus in their farm system.
While Crawford was no doubt an intriguing prospect, there’s almost no need for him with everybody on LA’s pitching staff at the MLB level combined with top prospects Josiah Gray, Bobby Miller, Clayton Beeter and Mitch White ahead of him in the pecking order.
As for the Brewers, they get a controllable lefty in Crawford, who isn’t far away from big league action. If not for the canceled 2020 minor league season, there’s a chance he’d already be up. This also better fits their payroll situation. They’re not going to spend millions on a risk, despite the upside Knebel brings to the table. Milwaukee is a smaller market and needs to make shrewd additions to remain in contention.
This falls under that category, and it’s a win for both sides. The Dodgers snagged Knebel before he hit the open market while the Brewers got an asset in return when they were ready to simply cut ties with the right-hander.
Good business all around.