Minnesota Twins: 5 non-tendered free agents that could make intriguing signs
Koehler who was a consistent member of the Miami Marlins staff for several years was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays this past summer. He was traded in a money-saving effort by the Marlins and is now cut likely with a similar goal in mind. Koehler was slated to make around $6 million this next season and that was a price the Blue Jays weren’t willing to pay for a guy who was, in reality, brought in to eat some innings.
Koehler spent most of his career as a back-end starter where his ERA was anywhere from the high threes to the mid-fours. After struggling in 2017, he spent significant time in Triple-A before being sent to Toronto where he mainly pitched in relief. Koehler isn’t necessarily known for his strikeout ability, but as a reliever, his strikeout rate improved to 9.5 SO/9. Koehler’s overall ERA in 2017 was 6.05 but his Toronto only ERA was 3.22 showing some improvement.
Now Koehler isn’t quite the needle mover like some of the other guys before him that can let us dream of near-100 mph fastballs coming across the plate. I personally wouldn’t have been intrigued by Koehler until reading what Christina Kahrl wrote about Koehler in a piece about which non-tendered free agents will be ready to rebound for 2018. Kahrl points out that in 2016 with a good pitch-framing catcher Jeff Mathis, Koehler held batters to a .593 OPS. Kahrl than goes on to name Jason Castro and the Twins as a potential fit that could produce similar results.
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As with most of these guys. If signing Koehler became the only move made to try and improve this pitching staff we should all be very angry. All five of these guys would be very good on a “prove it” type deal to see if they can find any consistency and turn out more of the “good” of the career than the “ugly” that resulted in their non-tender.