The experience would give the front office a reason to stockpile pitching depth and it seems as if that is the plan before the season begins. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Dodgers are looking to add to the starting staff:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 15, 2014
Both starting pitchers have been linked to the Dodgers, with Masahiro Tanaka being the top starting pitcher on the market. Tanaka was posted last month by his NPB team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, and has until January 24 to strike a deal. Any team that signs the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will have to pay a $20 million posting fee. Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings for the Golden Eagles last season.
Bronson Arroyo was linked to the team earlier this off-season and is one of the top pitchers in the second tier of free agent starting pitchers. The right-hander went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts for the Cincinnati Reds. He’s been one of the most consistent arms, throwing at least 199 innings in the last nine seasons. Arroyo is 36 years old and wouldn’t command the same long-term deal that the younger Tanaka would get.
As of now, the Dodgers starting rotation features Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett. The right-handed Beckett is coming off surgery to remove a rib after struggling in eight starts last season. Top prospect Zach Lee will be competing for a spot in the spring, but is likely at least one more year away from making a contribution. Right-hander Chad Billingsley is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is slated for a July return, giving the team another starting pitcher.
Even after locking up Kershaw this afternoon the Dodgers are looking to add to an already stellar rotation and if Tanaka is truly an ownership call, they usually get what they want.
ICYMI: Here’s the latest on the Dodgers pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka