MLB Weekly Digest December 28th Edition: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Reliever Tommy Kahnle to Two-Year Deal

MLB Weekly Digest December 28th Edition: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Reliever Tommy Kahnle to Two-Year Deal

The prior week in MLB was about a club in the National League signing a reliever.

A team acquires a first baseman, a free agent catcher receives offers from various teams, and a Hall of Fame pitcher passes away.

Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Reliever Tommy Kahnle to Two-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Dodgers have added bullpen depth by signing reliever Tommy Kahnle to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Kahnle made just one appearance last season after he underwent Tommy John surgery in August and is expected to miss all of the 2021 campaign while rehabbing.

He will make $4.75 million over the two years, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The reliever will earn $750,000 in 2021 and $3.45 million in 2022, as well as a signing bonus worth $550,000.

He spent the last four seasons with the New York Yankees and was a crucial part of their bullpen within that period.

Kahnle was stable for the Yankees during the 2019 season, as he posted a 3.67 ERA in 61 1/3 innings pitched (72 games) with 88 strikeouts, 20 walks issued, nine home runs yielded, a 1.06 WHIP, and 3.33 FIP.

The right-hander has shown an ability to limit home runs as he has surrendered 28 in seven seasons.

Kahnle will not help the Dodgers for the 2021 season, but for the 2022 campaign, he could be an essential piece in their bullpen.

Washington Nationals Acquire First Baseman Josh Bell from the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Washington Nationals have acquired first baseman Josh Bell from the Pittsburgh Pirates, per a team announcement.

The Pirates are receiving right-handed pitchers Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean to complete the deal, per a team announcement.

Bell struggled in the abbreviated 2020 season by accumulating a .226 batting average and .669 OPS in 57 games with three doubles, eight home runs, and 22 RBIs.

However, he was a National League All-Star during the 2019 season by compiling a .277 average and .936 OPS in 143 games with 37 doubles, 37 home runs, and 116 RBIs with the Pirates.

The Nationals are hoping Bell resembles more of his All-Star form next season.

The club was looking for an upgrade at the first base position as they received little production last season.

Eric Thames and Asdrubal Cabrera split time at the position, and young player Jake Noll played seven games.

The trio combined to produce a .233 average and minus-0.7 WAR.

The Pirates moving Bell probably was not an easy decision as he was with the franchise for the past five years and is two years away from being a free agent.

However, the Pirates had a low chance of signing Bell to a long-term contract, and it was logical for them to get some value for him.

They received two young pitchers that could help the team in the future.

This a good deal for both teams, as the Nationals receive a first baseman and the Pirates add two young arms to their farm system.

Catcher J.T. Realmuto Receives Offers from Philadelphia Phillies And Other Clubs

Catcher J.T. Realmuto has received an offer from the Philadelphia Phillies and proposals from other teams, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The details of the offers are unknown.

Realmuto is one of the better free agents available and is expected to sign a multi-year deal worth at least $120 million.

He has established himself as one of the better backstops in MLB and produced a stellar season with the Phillies last year.

He compiled a .266 average and .840 OPS in 47 games with six doubles, 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, and four stolen bases.

Realmuto is solid defensively as he won Gold Glove in 2019 and handles the position exceptionally well.

The Phillies are not the only team trying to sign the stellar catcher as he has been linked to the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays this offseason.

The club which signs Realmuto will have a great catcher for years to come.

Hall of Fame Pitcher Phil Niekro Passes Away at 81

Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro has passed away at the age of 81, per the Hall of Fame.

He was a legendary pitcher for the Atlanta Braves who mastered the knuckleball for 24 seasons (21 years with the Braves) in MLB.

Niekro had been battling cancer, per a statement by the Braves.

Niekro was a five-time All-Star who won 318 games in his career, which is the most by any knuckleball pitcher.

He ranks 16th all-time in wins, 11th in strikeouts (3,342), fifth in games started (716), and fourth in innings pitched (5,404).

Niekro was elected to Cooperstown in 1997 and had a successful career due to his knuckleball.

After Niekro retired, he remained affiliated with the Braves and helped other knuckleball pitchers in their careers, such as R.A. Dickey.

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Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]

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