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Dodgers add righty Koehler to bullpen

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers officially made their first offseason move to restock the bullpen, reaching a one-year agreement with free-agent right-hander Tom Koehler on Wednesday.

The Dodgers have been looking for potential replacements for setup man Brandon Morrow -- who parlayed a workhorse World Series into a two-year, $21 million free-agent contract to be the closer for the Chicago Cubs -- and lefty Tony Watson.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers officially made their first offseason move to restock the bullpen, reaching a one-year agreement with free-agent right-hander Tom Koehler on Wednesday.

The Dodgers have been looking for potential replacements for setup man Brandon Morrow -- who parlayed a workhorse World Series into a two-year, $21 million free-agent contract to be the closer for the Chicago Cubs -- and lefty Tony Watson.

Koehler, 31, was non-tendered by Toronto, which acquired him from Miami in August. Koehler was 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 games (14 in relief) with the Blue Jays after going 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA in 12 starts with the Marlins. As a converted starter, Koehler would fit the multi-inning reliever role the Dodgers rely on with most of their starting pitchers lasting barely five innings per game.

Video: Gurnick on Dodgers needing to boost bullpen

"As teams are trying to maximize roster spots, I think it's going to become more common," general manager Farhan Zaidi said of the multi-inning reliever during this week's Winter Meetings.

Koehler had been almost exclusively a starting pitcher until the trade. At the Meetings, Zaidi said the club continues to be intrigued by starters whose stuff "plays up" when they are moved to the bullpen and can shed the mindset some starters have of pacing themselves.

"It's proven over and over, guys' stuff plays up and guys have success going from one role to the other," said Zaidi. "It can give guys a second career."

Koehler led the Marlins' staff with 11 wins in 2015. If he's put in the bullpen, he would become a logical option to compete for a late-inning role with Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia (coming off Tommy John surgery), Josh Fields and Tony Cingrani, obtained in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers, Tom Koehler