Dodgers Team News

Could Blake Snell Be the Left-Handed Replacement for Injured Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw?

The Dodgers have a clear need to upgrade their starting rotation this offseason, and it could see them being aggressive all on fronts. LA should be looking to bring in at least one front-line starter, along with a few other solid guys to fill out the rotation.

With Clayton Kershaw likely out for a good chunk of next season, the team is going to need a big-time left-hander pitcher in the rotation. One name that could be of interest to LA comes from their in-division rival. 

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell was the best in the game this past season, and he is in line to win his second Cy Young Award. He posted an ERA of 2.25 on the year, along with a WHIP of 1.19. Snell also added in 234 strikeouts over 180 innings of work.

MLB insider Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes that the Dodgers are a good fit for Snell, and he has a contract projection of five years, $122 million for the Padres ace. However, it is likely that Snell gets more money than that, and that would probably take him out of the Dodgers price range.

The Dodgers would gladly sign him on a shorter-term deal, but Snell is likely to receive a massive contract after the year he put together. Plus, he has Scott Boras as his agent, and that almost certainly takes LA out of the running.

Snell was almost unhittable at times throughout the season, and he could provide the Dodgers with a big-time pitcher at the front of their rotation. But the issue is whether or not he could replicate his dominant ways of 2023.

He got out of many jams in 2023 and left a ton of guys on base. But would that happen each season? Or would he go back to his old ways of getting rocked at times?

His two best seasons of his career have come right before a new contract, so there is a pattern here. In 2018, he posted an ERA of 1.89 and took home the American League Cy Young Award but followed up the next few seasons with ERAs well over that.

2019 saw him post an ERA of 4.29, 2020 was 3.24, 2021 was 4.20 and 2022 was 3.38. It wasn’t until he was due for another contract that Snell became the dominant pitcher again, and while it surely wasn’t intentional, that is a bit suspicious. 

Getting Snell would be great on the surface level, but when you look underneath, it’s not as pretty. LA should see what it would take to land him, but in all likelihood, this pairing isn’t going to happen this offseason. The Dodgers should focus on other starters that could come cheaper, or have better advance metrics.

Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Levine

Matt is a passionate sports fan who loves writing about and covering the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and NCAA. After growing up watching sports, Matt set out to work in the field, earning a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area.


  1. Blake Snell is an MLB proven commodity. Yes Boras as his agent is a problem but only to sign him , once he’s with the Dodgers supposedly will take 5 years 120 mil plus will be a good deal. I say sign him Yamamoto and Ohtani then shore up the bull pen and then the Dodgers are set for at least 5 years and it all during Mookie and Freddie prime time.

  2. Snell is pretty much a proven winner and exactly what the D’s should go after without tinkering with these pitchers.from Japan.But,will Snell be interested in the ANALitic failed organization like the Dodgers?

  3. Getting a cheaper deal elsewhere has been the Dodgers down fall, you ger what you pay for so quit looking for cheaper and get a sure winner like Snell, the only thing better than a Snell is getting 3 or 4 of or like him.

  4. Imanaga from Japan will be posted this winter, and will come far cheaper than Snell. A lefty, Imanaga has played for the Gold Medal team that Yamamoto played for. Heck, might as well sign both and add to Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, and Sheehan…

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