The Los Angeles Dodgers need to add starting pitching this offseason. That’s a given.
Considering they got just 4.2 innings out of starting pitchers in this year’s NLDS loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, getting quality starting pitching should be at the top of LA’s to-do list.
Dodgers insider J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group recently caught up with our very own Doug McKain on the daily Dodgers Dougout show, and said he could see the Dodgers adding a starting pitcher through both the trade market and free agency. He even listed a potential trade target in longtime almost Dodger Dylan Cease.
“Cease is a guy who comes to mind on a team that’s in an obvious need of a rebuild,” Hoornstra said. “He’s a front of the line starter. There aren’t a lot of guys like that out there who check all those boxes. But I think we can’t rule that route out sitting here today.”Via Dodgers Dougout Podcast
Cease was someone I wanted the Dodgers to go after at the trade deadline, as I thought he would be the perfect piece to shore up their starting rotation for the stretch run of the season.
Obviously they didn’t, and Cease did struggle a bit in the second half of the season on a bad Chicago White Sox team. However, I do think a change of scenery and playing for a contender would have helped, and with Chicago still in the same rebuild spot as they were a few months ago, this could be the best time for LA to go after someone like Cease.
Cease is still arbitration-eligible until 2026, so the Dodgers would be getting multiple confirmed years out of Cease before deciding if they wanted to sign him to a long-term extension.
The 27-year-old has frontline starter stuff, and he proved it in 2022 when he threw a career-high 184 innings to the tune of a career-best 2.20 ERA. Cease has made 32, 32 and 33 starts the last three seasons, respectively, showing his true durability as the ace of a staff.
Considering Clayton Kershaw led the team in 2023 with 24 starts and 131.2 innings pitched, there’s clearly some room for improvement there.
The Dodgers would somewhat be “buying lower” on Cease since he had an inflated 4.58 ERA in 2023, but pitching for a contender would surely help Cease get back to a version of his 2022 self.
With all the young talent already infused into the rotation, there just isn’t room for all their young studs to come up and pitch. This is the offseason for LA to go big, and that could mean getting a true frontline starter like Cease.
Do you want to see Dylan Cease in Los Angeles this season? Sound off in the comments below!
Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports