BRONX, N.Y. — “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. I’ll be so blue just thinking about you…” According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Tommy Kahnle will have a blue Christmas as well. Dodger blue. The former New York Yankees right-handed relief pitcher has reportedly inked a two-year contract, worth $5.25 million, with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Free-agent reliever Tommy Kahnle in agreement with Dodgers on two-year contract, source tells The Athletic. Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery in August.
Affectionately known by some Yankee fans as “Tommy Boy” or “Tommy Tightpants,” Kahnle and his vaunted changeup only appeared in one game in 2020, before undergoing Tommy John surgery. While Kahnle likely won’t pitch in 2021, it’s still unfortunate to lose a popular player with as much energy and talent as he has.
Kahnle, a Latham, N.Y. native (near Albany), is a graduate of Shaker High School and played Connie Mack ball with the South Troy Dodgers. He was drafted by the Yankees in 2010 but was lost to the Colorado Rockies in the rule 5 draft in 2013. After being dealt to the Chicago White Sox, Kahnle found his way back to the Bronx in 2017, along with David Robertson and Todd Frazier.
Appearing in 129 games in pinstripes, Kahnle pitched to a 4.01 ERA, with 157 K’s in 112.1 innings pitched. Aside from an outlier 2018, Kahnle was solid for New York, pitching to a 2.33 ERA in the postseason with 18 K’s in 19.1 innings pitched across 15 outings.
It makes one wonder if the Dodgers were willing and able to sign him not to pitch for at least a year, why couldn’t the Yankees?