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Dodgers: MLB Writer Suggests Two Low Risk, High Reward Pitchers for LA

For Major League Baseball, it has been a relatively quiet winter in terms of player movement. Even if you count the Dodgers acquisition of right-handed reliever Corey Knebel as a big move, things in LA have been even quieter.

With that, players like Kiké Hernandez and Trevor Bauer are trying to kick start their markets via their social media pages. Baseball writers are doing their part to stir the hot stove as well. Moreover, scribe AJ Cassavell identified two low risk, high reward arms that LA could look into as they rebuild for a 2021 World Series repeat.

Here’s what he had to say.

Two available free agents fit that low-risk, high-reward reclamation profile — reliever Kirby Yates and starter Chris Archer.

Cassavell, a Padres beat writer went on to note that both right-handers are coming off of recent injuries.

Yates, an All-Star in 2019 for San Diego, was lights out in 2018 and 2019. He appeared in 125 games posting a 1.67 ERA and 1.93 FIP while recording 53 saves. the reliever also worked a strikeout to walk ratio better than 6:1 during that stretch before elbow issues led to 2020 surgery to remove bone chips.

“If he’s healthy,” said Cassavell, “Yates and his splitter would provide an intriguing and contrasting alternative to newly acquired Corey Knebel, if Kenley Jansen can’t regain his dominance.”

As for Chris Archer, the long-time Tampa Bay Ray has struggled with health and effectiveness since being traded to the Pirates in 2018. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome — which some Dodger fans may be familiar with during the Josh Beckett days — earlier this year, so he wouldn’t be ready until much later in the season. Even still, Archer hasn’t posted an ERA under 4 since 2015, so this move may be less ideal for LA who has prospect arms like Josiah Gray and Mitch White ready to fill meaningful innings in 2021.

Final Thoughts

The addition of Kirby Yates makes more sense for the Dodgers than Chris Archer. Looking ahead, the club is deep in starting pitching talent for the next few seasons. However, with the loss of two workhorses in Pedro Baez and Blake Treinen, the needs in the bullpen are more apparent. But to put faith in not one, but two reclamation projects with Corey Knebel and Yates might not the best approach for a defending world champion.

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Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!


  1. Yates if healthy would be a good add for the Dodgers. Archer? No way! Rather have Garrett Richards, or Taijuan Walker

    1. Chris Archer’s best years were about 5 years ago. He was good, but not great. Since then he has been barely mediocre. I’m not seeing that one at all. Yates is different. He was lights out in 2019. I always prefer pitchers coming back from TJ surgery, like Corey Knebel, because the recovery prognosis is so good. Removing bone chips sounds simple, but you don’t really know how much damage was done before they were removed. It could be a really good risk worth taking. I would insist on MRIs. It would be fun to beat the Padres with one of their own guys.

    1. Sign Archer to a minor league contract and invite him to spring training. Has any pitcher ever came back from this type of surgery.

  2. Mlb always tried to make Archer into some great ace it was kind of unfair to him. At his best he was a solid 3 but now a 4 or 5 when on his game

  3. With so many young, high quality SPs, and more on the way, I don’t see the Dodgers allocating those kind of funds to another starter.

  4. Please forget Arenado. Save the money to long term Seager Bollinger Buehler Three young starters in Urias
    May Gonsolin bode well for the future. We can trade some of our catching depth to fill other needs as they arise

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