The Dodgers reportedly looked into trading for Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez at the trade deadline last year and the year before, but they weren’t able to work anything out. Could the two teams revisit those talks this offseason?
Brandon Scott over at Bleacher Report seems to think it’s a possibility.
One of the major remaining questions for the Dodgers going into the 2023 season is whether they have enough starting pitching.
Remember, this is a staff that dealt with injury issues last year and still managed to post the lowest ERA and WHIP in baseball. The Dodgers’ flaws still couldn’t them winning 111 games and boasting the game’s most accomplished staff statistically.
Yet it is still fair to ask whether adding Noah Syndergaard to a rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May is good enough.
Kershaw had two stints on the injured list last year with back injuries, and it’s not like he’s getting any younger. May just recently returned from Tommy John surgery, while Gonsolin has not pitched a full season since 2019. Walker Buehler is also now recovering from his second Tommy John surgery since 2015.
López would provide the Dodgers with some depth and a potential safety net for a staff that, while elite, has some health concerns.
Scott is right that the main concerns for L.A.’s rotation are about health more than effectiveness, but is Lopez the right fit to mitigate those risks?
If the Dodgers got Lopez, it would push them into a six-man rotation, which wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing in the world, considering all the health risks we’re talking about. But then again, it might not give them six starters, because Miami might want a young starter in return for Lopez, someone like Gonsolin.
To be honest, I wouldn’t do a Gonsolin-for-Lopez trade straight up. Gonsolin has two more years of team control and has been a better pitcher than Lopez, and significantly better in 2022. And while it’s true that Lopez made 32 starts and threw 180 innings last year — both numbers would have led the Dodgers — it’s also true that he’s never made more than 21 starts or thrown more than 111.1 innings in any other season. So he’s not necessarily a proven workhorse.
For the right price, I’d definitely be interested in Pablo Lopez, but with the number of teams still looking for starting pitching, it’s hard to see the Marlins settling for a reasonable price.
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