After the Dodgers’ debacle in the NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the desperate need for starting pitching became clear. The Dodgers must decide whether they are going with the youth movement or a veteran starting rotation. They can have a mixture of youth and veteran starters.
The Los Angeles Dodgers expect Walker Buehler back in their starting rotation after having his second Tommy John surgery, but no one knows how well he will perform. They don’t know whether Clayton Kershaw will return. Poor playoff performances might shake both Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan’s confidence. The Dodgers obviously don’t trust Ryan Pepiot.
The Dodgers need to obtain at least two experienced starters this offseason to have a winning team. If they don’t, they need to say they are rebuilding in the 2024 season.
The top starting free agent is Blake Snell. He probably will win the National League Cy Young Award. He won an American League Cy Young Award in 2018. He is a competitor. Since he is left-handed, he would be a compliment to Buehler, Miller, Sheehan, and Pepiot. Scott Boras represents Snell, and the Dodgers dislike dealing with Boras.
The upcoming offseason doesn’t have many starters available. Beyond Snell, Aaron Nola of the Phillies is set to become a free agent but will also come at a premium. He’s coming off a solid but not stellar 2023 regular season but could earn himself a few more million dollars per year by continuing his electric postseason run.
With their deep farm system, the Dodgers could trade for either Corbin Burnes from the Brewers or Dylan Cease from the White Sox, but their teams must agree. When great starting pitching is difficult to find, it is doubtful their teams will trade them.
The Dodgers can choose many average starters like Michael Wacha, Sonny Gray, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, and Marcus Stroman.
While Dodger fans want Andrew Friedman to sign a legitimate frontline ace, he probably won’t this offseason.
Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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