Entering the offseason, the Dodgers have a clear need for starting pitching. This past season their rotation was held together by strings and once the playoffs came around, the string completely broke off.
There aren’t many for sure members in the starting rotation for next season, so the front office is going to have some work to do. They know that they can’t duplicate their efforts from this season if they want to give themselves a realistic chance to win the World Series.
The team will have plenty of options, both via the trade market and free agency. But one expected free agent could be the biggest game-changer of them all. That would be Japanese superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is expected to be posted for him to sign in MLB.
Yamamoto is only 25 years old and is considered the best pitcher to be coming over from Japan. His stuff is electric, and he would give the Dodgers a home run signing if they were to land him.
Some of the biggest competition for the Dodgers to sign Yamamoto will likely be the San Francisco Giants and both New York teams. However, the latest reporting seems to indicate that LA could be in a good spot.
“According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Giants did not receive a final opportunity to counter New York’s offer because Senga was keen on joining a Mets rotation that included Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer when the season began. After trading both future Hall of Fame pitchers, the Mets cannot offer that enticement to Yamamoto now. And there’s a sense within the industry that the Giants won’t allow another team to outbid them for his services.”Per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic
If the financial monsters in the Mets are out of the running, LA should be able to outbid anyone if they are serious about Yamamoto. It may come down to a good old-fashioned bidding war between the Giants and Dodgers, which would be fascinating in itself.
Landing Yamamoto would give the Dodgers a legitimate ace-level pitcher to go along with Walker Buehler and Bobby Miller in the rotation. They could fill the rest of the starters out with a few other signings, but this would be their frontline starter this winter.
The front office has some choices to make this offseason, with Yamamoto being one of the biggest ones. The timeline isn’t clear, but getting Yamamoto may also help the Dodgers land Shohei Ohtani as well. The two played together in Japan and would be a nice one-two punch on the team next season, even with Ohtani not pitching.
Photo Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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