Dodgers Team News

Justin Verlander Rumors: Dodgers Seen as Best Fit for Free Agent

The Dodgers are definitely in the market for a starting pitcher or two, and one of the biggest names in the free-agent pool is Justin Verlander, who last week won his third career Cy Young Award. Pretty much every team looking for pitching is at least somewhat interested in Verlander, and Ken Rosenthal reported recently that the Mets are included in that list.

MLB insider Jon Morosi was on MLB Network this morning discussing where he thinks Verlander will end up, and Morosi likes the fit between Verlander and the Dodgers.

“I would say that, of the large market National League teams, that while the Mets are clearly interested, … I think the fit with the Dodgers and Verlander is at least as good, and probably even better, than the fit with the Mets. Of course, we know Verlander has a home in the Los Angeles area. It makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of how the Dodgers like to structure their contracts with maybe more veteran pitchers and players who are on a shorter-term, high-AAV structure. With the Dodgers and Verlander, I like that pairing even more than I like the pairing with the Mets.”

There are some things to quibble with there. The reason Verlander fits “how the Dodgers like to structure their contracts” is because he’s old and has an injury history so he won’t demand a long-term contract, but the reason Los Angeles likes the shorter deals with a higher average annual value is, at least in part, to avoid paying guys when their old and/or injured. Yes, there’s the appeal of only being locked in for a few years if things do go sideways, but the chances of things going sideways are significantly higher for a guy in his 40s who recently had Tommy John surgery.

Still, Morosi’s not wrong overall about the things that make the two a good fit. Of course, in free agency, once everyone is done talking about all the intangibles and fit and everything, it almost always simply comes down to who offers the most money. If the Dodgers offer Verlander the most money, he’ll play for them. If they don’t, he won’t, even though he has a house near L.A.

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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. We dont need any 40 year old pitchers. This is not worth it and I doubt he gets through the whole season without being on the IL like Kershaw is every season.

  2. A short term deal would work given his age. But his track record speaks for itself and Verlander just won another Cy Young award too.

  3. The reality is we have $183.5 Mil of committed salary for 23. That leaves $49.5 if we want to stay under the first CBT threshold. That’s without a contract for JT. Gotta wonder why we would invest nearly all of what remains on Verlander if we want to reset the CBT?? He is not generational, low risk, proven post season talent and we have numerous other holes to fill.
    We could pivot to Senga, sign a FA left fielder and trade for a shortstop; that would be a decent plan to begin next season or trade for more. That could all be done from a position of strength rather than hope or desperation.

  4. If they are bound and determined to hire a geezer pitcher. The contract needs to be a small base salary and heavy incentives on starts, whip, era, post season availability, etc. They are a large risk and they need to have skin in the game for the contracts they are looking for.

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