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Dodgers Offseason: With Tyler Anderson Gone, Where Does LA Go With the Rotation?

The Dodgers have some big decisions to make this offseason regarding their starting pitching. With Clayton Kershaw coming back for a 16th season in L.A., they have six guys who made at least six starts for the team last season: Kershaw, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Ryan Pepiot, and Michael Grove. They also have Andre Jackson, who pitched four games in relief last year but has been a starter in the minors, plus top prospects Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone, who both finished 2022 in Triple-A and should be ready for the big leagues soon.

So they have arms available, but those nine names accounted for just 96 of their 162 starts last year. On Tuesday, word came down that All-Star Tyler Anderson wouldn’t be accepting L.A.’s qualifying offer and would instead be signing a three-year deal with the Anaheim Angels of Orange County. Anderson made 28 starts in 2022 and led the Dodgers in innings pitched, so his loss will be felt deeply from a stability standpoint even before you get to the part about him finishing fifth in the NL in ERA. He gave the team quality and quantity that will need to be replaced.

The three big names in free agency are Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, and Carlos Rodon, and each has his pros and cons. Rodon would likely be the cheapest per year but command the longest deal as the youngest of the bunch. Verlander and deGrom are both likely looking for shorter deals but a ton of money per year. And Rodon and deGrom have qualifying offers attached to them, meaning the Dodgers would lose two draft picks and $1 million in international bonus money if they were to sign either of them.

When we’re talking about stability, though, none of those three is a great bet. Rodon was outstanding in 2022, but it was just the second time in his eight-year career he’s pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. DeGrom has been probably the best pitcher in baseball over the past five seasons, but he’s made just 26 starts in the past two years combined. And Verlander is about to win his third Cy Young Award but missed basically all of 2020 and 2021 with Tommy John surgery and will turn 40 right around the time he reports to spring training.

Kodai Senga is coming over to MLB from Japan and looks like a promising mid-rotation starter. Corbin Burnes and others could be available on the trade market. There are definitely moves to be made if the Dodgers choose.

The thing to remember with free agency, though, is that if we’d had this discussion a year ago, Anderson’s name never would have even come up, and not only did the Dodgers sign him, but it turned out to be the best signing of the offseason. So there very well could be some less expensive free agents the L.A. front office is eyeing that won’t make big headlines but could be huge moves. Someone like Taijuan Walker, Zach Eflin, or Jordan Lyles could come into the Dodgers Pitching Factory and end up an All-Star just like Anderson did.

In the past, the Dodgers have made huge splashes in free agency with starting pitchers, and maybe they will again this year. The one thing we know for sure is they’re committed to winning and will do what it takes.

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11 Comments

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  1. Nobody believes in Tyler Anderson. He is offered 20 (19.65) million for 1 season, will free agency for season 2 and 3.
    Tyler thinks he worth 20 next year and 10 the following and not even 10 for year 3.
    The Angels think he is worth 20 next year, 10 the next and only 9 for year 3.
    The Dodgers think he is worth 20 next year, and won’t even match 10 next followed by 9 year 3.
    His agent couldn’t get anybody else to go 20, 10,and then 10 for 40 million for 3 years.
    So he gets 39 for the next 3 with a non-contender, 13 per year average.
    Playing for the Angels means he gets October off every year, since he must not like the extra postseason work.
    Professionals must think last year was a fluke, and he has one good year ahead of him.

  2. No need to panic! While Anderson had a great year, does he really put the fear into the opposition in a play-off or word series atmosphere? I wouldn’t even consider some of the lesser named pitchers mentioned, when you have the talent the Dodges have in the minors. Why not give them a chance, rather then depend of some average pitchers that are out there. They are available for a reason! Our talent in the minors need the opportunity & experience!

  3. Why is it a lot of Dodger front line players leave for free agency, even when given a qualifying offer? Anderson takes his pitching down the road to Anaheim to a not very good team, while Seager took his services to Texas the year before, while you know who took his pitching skills to the Mets, to name just three. This year there are concerns that Trae Turner won’t be staying. Is this just the way things are for a lot of teams, or is there something more going on when it comes to the Dodgers?

    • Everybody does it, it’s just the free agency era we live in. To me it diminishes the enjoyment of the game when you don’t know who you’re going to be rooting for. Or are we really just rooting for the franchise owned by some billionaire?

  4. Why would the Dodgers consider signing the Astros Verlander? Seems like there would be fan outrage.

      • Verlander had to know about the cheating. To me he is guilty by association. Baseball should have blackballed the entire team and made sure none of them ever get into the HOF. That would have stopped the cheating.

      • Ever hear of spider tack? Cole and other pitchers have. Not saying Verlander did anything. Just don’t know how fans can blast the Astros and now ok signing one.

  5. Fans always want the bright shiny thing, the mega free agent. People almost always take the easy way when the harder way is sometimes more helpful long term.
    Dodgers are at a cusp. They have a lot of Farm talent coming that will be ready for the MLB. Do they promote them, trade them or lose them? My vote is to promote them and see what they can do. Dodgers won 111 games and lost horribly in the playoffs.
    I have maintained that the Dodgers will not win another WS with Roberts as the manager. He makes critical game decisions that hurt the team. When playing teams that are at parity Roberts is the -1!!

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