February 7, 2023

Report: Phillies expressing ‘serious interest’ in Corey Knebel, pursuing in Kyle Schwarber

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Philies have their eye on just about every outfielder that is available in free agency, but might be ready to replace Hector Neris who left for Houston over the weekend.

According to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the Phillies are expressing serious interest in free agent reliever Corey Knebel, who pitched with the Dodgers in 2021.

If you further validation…

Oh, Kyle Schwarber as well, spicy.

Anyways, Knebel would give the Phillies a solid back-end of the bullpen option, that could close or pitch late in games. In 27 games with the Dodgers Knebel posted a 2.45 ERA, 0.97 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 25.1 innings of work.

He also had three saves and nine holds, and was even used as an opener in some of the Dodgers playoff games.

The 30-year old missed most of the season with a lat strain.

He was one of the better bullpen arms in baseball while pitching in Milwaukee in 2017-18, but injury issues have followed him since.

In 266 career games Knebel has a 3.23 ERA with 366 strikeouts in 262.2 inning pitched.

Back to Schwarber.

Schwarber turns 29 early in spring training 2022. Over last three seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, and Boston Red Sox, the left has a slash line of .245/.346/.516 with 81 HR, 187 RBIs, 188 runs over 1,305 plate appearances.

Schwarber was an NL All-Star last season and dealt from Nats to the Red Sox at trade deadline.

In 101 at-bats hitting first in the lineup in 2021, Kyle Schwarber slashed .297/.385/.832 with 17 home runs, 30 RBIs, and a 1.216 OPS.

If the Phillies are indeed willing to spend big money this off-season, and if they believe strongly in an NL designed hitter, then signing Schwarber doesn’t preclude also still going after either Kris Bryant or Nick Castellanos. Still also would need an experienced center fielder and closer.

Still lots of needs, but Jack Fritz of WIP gave us the perfect picture.

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