Rays Sign Michael Kohn | The Process Report

Rays Sign Michael Kohn

The first transaction of the Matt Silverman era resembles many of the ones we witnessed under Andrew Friedman’s leadership: the Rays announced the signing of relief pitcher Michael Kohn to a one-year contract. (Though it’s worth noting that he’s under team control through the 2017 season anyway.) Financial terms were not released.

Kohn, 28, like many signees before him contains some toad-like warts and some prince-like qualities. A converted position player and Tommy John-surgery survivor, Kohn has a big right arm. His fastball lives in the mid-90s and touches higher. He has a sweeping slider in the low-80s and tosses a changeup that comes in a few ticks higher. The fastball is bona fide offering, missing bats as he elevates it in the zone. The secondary options are also quality and play against hitters on both sides of the dish. Despite being a fly-ball pitcher, he has kept the rock in the yard and limited the amount of hits allowed on balls in play.


The arm strength and arsenal are “unteachable” attributes that attracted the Rays to Kohn; however, there are some undesirable attributes that Jim Hickey and staff will try to clean up. Kohn has control issues—like historical issues. This bulk of this issue stems from some dirty mechanics; he has an off-balance delivery, including a high leg kick, and tends to drag his arm along. In the past he has tinkered with his arm action (moving from short to long) and altered release point in an effort to find the control that has eluded him since moving to the mound.

In his introductory press conference, Silverman said the team would focus on augmenting the current core of players. With Jake McGee, Brad Boxberger and others serving as principle pieces the bullpen, the hope is the coaches can get the most out of Kohn’s naturally ability and add some value on the margin—just like old times.

One Comment

  1. […] on his first trade as this looks like a nice low-risk get. Couple this acquisition with the Michael Kohn signing and Silverman is showing just what he thinks of last year’s bullpen. Useful pieces like this […]

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