Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Rumors: Justin Verlander Could Be in LA’s Sights if Tyler Anderson Walks

The Dodgers have some question marks in the starting pitching department this offseason. They had three lefty starters hit free agency last week, and while Clayton Kershaw is coming back and they’re probably fine with Andrew Heaney heading elsewhere, Tyler Anderson’s decision on the qualifying offer is pending and will go a long way in steering L.A.’s approach to their starting pitching.

As Ken Rosenthal notes over at The Athletic, the free-agent market has some pretty big-name starting pitchers at the top, including Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, and Justin Verlander. Verlander specifically strikes Rosenthal as one the Dodgers might be interested in.

Verlander … seemed a good bet to re-sign quickly with Houston. But it has not happened, perhaps because Verlander sees the potential for lucrative opportunities with the Mets, Yankees and Dodgers, among others. Unlike deGrom and Rodón, he was not eligible for a qualifying offer. And because he did not receive one, he is not subject to draft-pick compensation.

The likely AL Cy Young winner, who turns 40 on Feb. 20, could be a short-term, high-dollar fit for any of those clubs. … The Dodgers might pursue Verlander if Tyler Anderson rejects their $19.65 million qualifying offer — and heck, even if he accepts, too.

The qualifying offer is a big deal for Los Angeles, because the penalties for signing a player who received a QO are steeper for big spenders than they are for the poor little billionaire owners in smaller markets. If the Dodgers were to sign Rodon or deGrom, they’d lose their second and fifth picks in next year’s draft and one million dollars from their international bonus pool. Considering how well Los Angeles has drafted and developed players over the years, losing two draft picks is definitely a penalty that could serve as a deterrent for them.

So the lack of QO attached to Verlander is a point in his favor, while his age and likely cost are points against him. As Rosenthal notes, though, Verlander would be looking for a “short-term, high-dollar” contract, and those are L.A.’s specialty.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. He didn’t cheat because he is a pitcher, so I can cut him some slack if we get him.

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