With the news last week that future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw will be returning for a 16th season with the Dodgers, we can start to get a better look at what L.A.’s starting rotation might look like in 2023. There are still some questions to be answered, but Kershaw was one of the biggest unknowns.
Coming off what will likely be a second-place finish in the Cy Young voting, Julio Urias slots in as L.A.’s number-one starter, with Kershaw as number two right now. Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May would likely fill in the next to spots, leaving one hole with plenty of options to fill it.
Los Angeles has three young starters who spent time in the big leagues in 2022: Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson, and Michael Grove. Any of those guys could fill a spot in the rotation if necessary, but they also have Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone, two more highly touted prospects who finished the season in Triple-A and will likely be ready for the big leagues at some point in 2023.
There’s also the free agent market, with at least four or five potential targets Los Angeles might have their eyes on. Tyler Anderson pitched for the Dodgers in 2022 and had the best season of his career, and he might accept the qualifying offer L.A. gave him. Even if he doesn’t, he could return on a multi-year deal. Kodai Senga is a free agent from Japan the Dodgers have shown interest in, and Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, and Justin Verlander are all free agents, too.
If the Dodgers were to get aggressive on the free-agent market — or the trade market, for that matter, as there are rumblings Corbin Burnes of the Brewers might be available — they might have to make some hard decisions about some of their younger pitchers. Do they consider trading one or more of Pepiot, Jackson, and Grove? Do they think about moving May and his electric stuff to a bullpen role? When do they pull the trigger and get Miller and Stone into the big leagues?
So yeah, there are still a lot of questions, but the return of Kershaw gives the rotation some stability it needed heading into the offseason. Not to mention all the sentimental reasons it’s wonderful to have Kershaw back. Hopefully, the Dodgers can go get him his second World Series ring in 2023.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!