As Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe wrote in his Sunday column, the Dodgers and Marlins could have interest in Miami Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler. Cafardo reports that “the Dodgers have shown interest in Koehler as a reliever and the Red Sox have had at least internal discussions about him.”
The relationship between the Marlins and Koehler has become rocky this season, as the team planned to option the 30-year-old to Triple-A earlier this month after he posted a 7.04 ERA and 1.64 WHIP over his first eight starts. The move was eventually negated and Koehler, who hadn’t pitched in the minor leagues since 2013, was instead placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder bursitis. Koehler is set to come off the disabled list soon, though, and the two sides will have to find a solution.
Koehler has posted a below-average ERA+ in all six seasons of his MLB career, but his fastball has reached the mid-90s at times, so it’s possible that he could be more effective in maximum-effort short bursts as a reliever.
While the Dodgers are effectively employing a six-man starting rotation by way of extensive disabled list usage and have used 17 pitchers overall, they seem to be in constant search of more pitching depth. Los Angeles has found success in recent years when converting starters like Joe Blanton and Ross Stripling to the bullpen, and it’s possible that Koehler could be their next project.
With Boston, it seems more possible that Koehler could be an option as a starter. The Red Sox have already lost Steven Wright for the season to a knee injury, and there’s reason to be skeptical about the durability of Drew Pomeranz and David Price due to injury concerns. Boston doesn’t have a glaring need for a reliever, as their bullpen has the fifth-lowest ERA in the major leagues to this point, but perhaps Koehler could make a journeyman such as Blaine Boyer or Fernando Abad expendable if the Red Sox were to acquire him.