3 Last-minute moves the Phillies can still make before the MLB lockout

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches Marcus Semien #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays out during a MLB game at Rogers Centre on September 14, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches Marcus Semien #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays out during a MLB game at Rogers Centre on September 14, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Corey Knebel Phillies
Corey Knebel #46 (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

2. The Phillies should sign Corey Knebel before the CBA expires

As GM of the Detroit Tigers for over a decade, current Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski drafted many of baseball’s biggest stars, including Justin Verlander, Nick Castellanos, Rick Porcello, and Curtis Granderson, who is now retired.

In the first round of the 2013 June amateur draft, the Tigers picked pitcher Corey Knebel. Though they’d trade him soon after, it’s clear Dombrowski has kept tabs on his former pick. Bringing players with him from franchise to franchise is kind of his M.O.; just look at former Tigers David Price, Doug Fister, JD Martinez, who each joined the Red Sox during Dombrowski’s tenure as GM.

The Phillies are reportedly in “serious pursuit” of Knebel, who pitched well for the Dodgers in 2021. Over 27 appearances, he posted a 2.45 ERA, struck out 30 batters, and set a career-best 0.974 WHIP.

Knebel also offers versatility that is likely very attractive to the Phillies, whose current pitching situation is largely in shambles. Of Knebel’s 27 appearances last season, four were starts, three were games finished, and he earned three saves. He’d fit in well as a flexible set-up man, to whomever Dombrowski signs to replace Hector Neris, who departed for the Houston Astros in free agency.

Update: The Phillies and Corey Knebel are in agreement on a contract

Less than eight hours before the CBA expires on December 1, multiple reports confirm that the Phillies are signing Corey Knebel to a contract.

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