Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti maintains that even after the signing of right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year contract last weekend that he’s still interested in adding another starting pitcher. When asked about the pitching depth of the Dodgers rotation, Colletti points out the Dodgers had eight starters going into Spring Training last season and injuries sapped their surplus.
At the moment, a posting system hasn’t been agreed to by MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball, which has delayed the evolution of the pitchers market. In looking at the options on the free agent market and possibility that Masahiro Tanaka doesn’t get posted, Mark Saxson of ESPNLA.com discussed the possibility of going into 2014 with this group of starters:
How, exactly, would that work out? After signingDan Haren to a $10 million, incentive-laden deal and assuring him he would be a member of the team’s rotation, the Dodgers now have four healthy starters and one rotation spot left for two pitchers coming off surgery, Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley.
It’s hard to count on Beckett and Billingsley producing at a high level for the Dodgers next season as Beckett was downright terrible in 2013 while Billingsley is due back in mid-May or early June. Now signing Matt Garza or Ervin Santana to a five-year deal isn’t the answer, but ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney believes the Dodgers are still in the market for pitching:
I don’t think it’ll be difficult for them to deal with the Josh Beckett/Chad Billingsley surplus, because as we saw with Ted Lilly last year, if the Dodgers think somebody else is better or that a veteran isn’t healthy enough, they won’t pitch him, regardless of track record.
Olney mentions a trade for Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price, citing the Dodgers as the team that fits best if they’re willing to part with their high level prospects. If they don’t want to go to the Price route, there’s still growing belief that Tanaka will be posted and the Dodgers would submit a competitive bid to negotiate exclusively with him.
While Colletti maintains the Dodgers want to acquire another pitcher, they’ll likely wait until there’s a resolution with the posting system.
ICYMI: The Texas Rangers and Dodgers talked trade at the GM Meetings.