Dodgers Team News

Who Could the Dodgers Add This Offseason to Upgrade the Starting Rotation?

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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  1. Yamamoto looks like he will be much better than average, maybe a #2 or #3 starter. Tyler Glasnow is set to make $25 million on his last contract year with the Rays. The Rays will trade him. He could be a one-year bridge to 2025. 2024: (1) Kershaw (?) (2) Buehler (3) Bobby Miller (4) Pepiot (5) Sheehan (6) Dustin May after ASG (7) Grove (8) Gavin Stone (9) Yarbrough — add either Glasnow for one year or Yamamoto [five years]. [That is at least 10 even without Kershaw] and if more are needed – Kyle Hurt. Then, in 2025, Gonsolin comes back, Dustin May for the full year, and Ohtani if he signs, to replace Kershaw and Tyler Glasnow. If the Dodgers are to sign Ohtani, they need 2-3 near minimum-pay pitchers to be in the rotation — Miller, Pepiot, then either Sheehan or Grove or Stone or Hurt {Dustin May after ASG], because if Ohtani is a starter, they will have a 6 man rotation to accommodate him. They need minimum pay Pacific Coast League Players of the Year Miguel Vargas (2022) and Michael Bush (2023) on the 26-man roster. They don’t need any more relievers over 30 years old who cost 10 times the minimum and don’t pitch due to injuries. I’d like to see Graterol get a shot at starting. Who do they lose from the playoff roster — Kolten Wong, Peralta, and, if they sign Ohtani, JD Martinez [he really can’t play LF??? Imagine Betts 2B, Freeman 1B, Ohtani DH, Martinez [LF], Smith C, Muncy 3B, Heyward LF, Outman CF, Lux SS as the everyday line-up in 2024, if only Martinez can play LF – a lineup to score 1,000 runs. If Martinez really can’t play LF, then Jason Heyward moves to left field. Betts goes back to right field. Busch/Vargas to 2B and also maybe 3B to save on payroll. Muncy gets one more year because the $10 million club option is good for someone with an over .800 OPS. They should have started Pepiot not Lance Lynn, who should not return, not for $18 million [or any amount].

    1. While I would like either Nola or Snell just don’t see the Dodgers going ALL in on Free Agent signings other than Shohei/Yamamoto & hope they do not Trade ANY of their Young Pitching, since I see them being Very Cautious with May & holding him out the entire 2024 season! Lynn could still be a help as a mentor to the young pitchers & a bridge innings eater at $18M for the back of the order, since we know the Dodgers Pitching staff is already working on fixing him & just did not have enough time after the Trade deadline to do so!! While I like Max Muncy not sure if bringing him back makes sense unless Friedman screws the pooch signing Ohtani & the Dodgers Need a DH, since his defense has been horrid at 3rd Base!!!

  2. There must be some sort of mistake. An entire article about upgrading the pitching this offseason… And not one mention of Shohei Ohtani???

    1. Ohtani Will Not Pitch until 2025, so he can only be a DH for whoever signs him for 2024!

  3. This past season was a Bridge year for the Dodgers & while I did NOT expect them to get swept by the DBack’s I certainly did Not expect them to get to the SHIP through the Braves/Phillies with the horribly overmatched Pitching Staff! Concerned that the Dodgers could end up with the same situation with Urias ($?) that they had with Bauer ($30+M) if another Arbitrator decides Urias should be paid during his Domestic Violence Suspension!! Ohtani Will Not pitch next year, but would be a Great DH Replacement for JD Martinez who should garner a large contract from some other team & then in 2025 Ohtani could be part of a still very young Dodgers Pitching staff!!!

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