Over the last few years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have lost important pieces of their core/identity that clearly affected them in more ways than one. Perhaps not during the regular season, but certainly once the postseason rolled around.
Two of the best Dodgers teams of the past 10 years in 2021 and 2022 fell short in October, and for myriad reasons. Injuries? Sure. Poor managing? At times. Lack of fire and ability to perform in the clutch? Maybe the biggest culprit.
What’s the solution? There might not be an “across-the-board” one, but there are certainly steps president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman can take to address the deficiencies that have prevented the Dodgers from winning a full-season World Series after making the playoffs for 10 straight years and winning nine division titles over that span.
How about bringing back some guys who fit the mold in LA? Who were either Dodgers legends, developed into capable contributors, or ended up blossoming elsewhere?
4 former Dodgers Andrew Friedman can reunite with this offseason
4. Corey Knebel
After an incredible bounce-back year with the Dodgers in 2021, Corey Knebel joined the Philadelphia Phillies to be their closer in 2022. Sadly, it didn’t work out, and he was lost for the season in mid-August with a shoulder injury.
It’s unclear if that contributed to his mediocre performance or if he caught Phillies Bullpen Disease, but once his one-year deal expires, he’ll be a free agent. The Dodgers have taken a liking to signing injured relievers at a bargain price, and there’s at least familiarity here. They were able to unlock Knebel for 27 games (2.45 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 30 strikeouts in 25.2 innings).
Any and all competent help to bridge the gap to the ninth inning, the better. Knebel proved he can fit into the picture and do whatever’s asked of him. Once again, though, it’ll hinge on his health.