The Dodgers Are Fine Without Corey Kluber

For much of the offseason, the Dodgers have been linked to a few targets more than others: Bryce Harper. JT Realmuto. And Corey Kluber.

No doubt that any of those players would make the team better in some capacity, but the point of this article is simple…

This is about why the Dodgers will be fine without Corey Kluber.

Depth in the rotation

The rotation is still headed by Clayton Kershaw and Walker BuehlerThat leaves us with a hungry semi-former ace, and the best number 2 in the business — I dare you to @ me.

The middle of the rotation is anchored by Hyun-Jin Ryu — who did start game one of the postseason last year, by the way — and potential new team dad Rich Hill.

The back end of the rotation is flush with options like Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, and long shots for the opening day roster like Julio Urias and Dennis Santana. I still feel that they want Caleb Ferguson to start, so he’ll be only a flight from OKC away.

Plus, this is finally the year that we see top prospect Dustin May, or maybe even “freshly added to the 40-man roster” Yadier Alvarez.

Overpaying for sentiment

I don’t like trading for another team’s franchise icon because you have to pay more to get them. The “sentimental tax.”

After trading Kemp and, more importantly, Puig, the path became clear for Alex Verdugo to finally get his shot to stay in the big leagues. With that said, I’m not comfortable trading away Verdugo now. After seasons of surplus in the outfield, it’s finally starting to look a little thin. Your first baseman is playing center field, your backup outfielders are natural infielders (Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez). In short, Verdugo cannot go anywhere.


You can’t make a trade from a thinning area to add to an area of depth, even if it’s for an ace. At this point in time, focus on shoring up the depleted catching depth.

[button link=”https://dodgersnation.com/dodgers-analyzing-catcher-options-for-2019-an-update/2019/01/08/” type=”big” color=”red”] Analyzing Catcher Options for 2019 – An Update[/button]

Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of DodgersNation.com, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


  1. Great take, as many of us keep saying they are not going to sign Any huge contract so Harper etc are out. Kluber to me never made much sense unless they would take some of our surplus pitching, rumors say no.

    I want them to play or at least give Verdugo and Toles every opportunity to play. They are both contact guys that the team needs.

    Pitching is not a need. In fact this team as it is made up today still wins the NL West and can compete in the Playoffs. Let’s bring Smith up sooner than later and give Gales a good look in the Spring he certainly had a good solid year in OKC.

    Use the Farm Guys that is what they are there for. Let Beaty and Lux show their stuff in the Spring and compete for 2nd base take a hard look at Peters and hopefully see if Kendall has figured out how to make contact.

    Lots of options…

    1. Thanks for the response, tmaxster! You’re thinking is right there — the pitching is pretty well equipped already.

      I’m super high on Toles too, but I feel that his window is already closed with the team, unfortunately. Seems like they gave up on him a bit toward the end of the season. I hope he gets another shot.

  2. You say the outfield is looking thin but that all changes if some guy named Harper ends up in Dodger blue. I do like Verdugo but with regardless of Harper or not, we need right handed hitting. So I would be okay with losing Verdugo for a right handed pop, especially if it’s a catcher from Miami!

  3. now if the management figures out what to do with roberts………he is the biggest liability on the team and playing musical chairs with the players does not make for a good team……..if you are signed for first base, it is for you to lose……..it does not help the morale on the team knowing your manager does not trust you as a player or amplifies a problem you might have……..they are to support you and train as needed but not create a situation where you are not a full player and are treated as such……..it happened time after time last year and the players didn’t respond to the game he (roberts) was playing………….a team can’t win games if the manager loses the ability to be a leader……….world series was a prime example…….roberts was out played in all levels and the full blame is on him….he cost us the ability to win a world series and the players were lost because they didn’t have a leader…….they showed it by their pitiful strike-out rate and also by their play on the field……they didn’t try to perform for him

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