The Dodgers need starting pitchers, but at what cost?
It’s possible that they’ll have to turn to the trade market, rather than their usual tactic of spending big money on players, if they sign Shohei Ohtani.
“There are some talented pitchers on the free-agent market,” said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “There are some talented pitchers on the trade market. We’re open to different scenarios and ways to line up on adding a good arm.”
But should those free agents not pan out—or if more pitchers are necessary than that market can provide—the Dodgers can turn to their famously deep farm system, writes Bill Plunkett at the OC Register.
Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot are expected to be part of the Dodgers’ rotation next season, and Emmet Sheehan would be tough to lose, but just about anyone else could be part of a deal. That includes Gavin Stone, Landon Knack, Nick Frasso, and River Ryan, all of whom have made their presence known as minor-league pitchers. In Stone’s case, he’s already had a taste of the majors, making him a particularly enticing possibility for teams.
Then there’s Miguel Vargas, who had a rough introduction to the majors, and Michael Busch, who fared much better but may be a bit redundant if Mookie Betts does indeed take on a full-time role at second base.
Given the depth of the Dodgers’ minor-league system, it’s possible that these prospects won’t be terribly missed if they do get traded away. But given the Dodgers’ recent pitching struggles, one can never be too careful—the minors did provide them with enough arms to at least make it through the season, often with spectacular results from Miller and Pepiot.
- Dave Roberts surprised everyone, especially his front office counterparts, when he spoke openly about the team’s meeting with Ohtani—a big no-no, according to Ohtani’s rules of engagement. Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times asks: Is there a disconnect between Roberts and the powers that be, and how big of a problem is that?
- Earlier this week, Roberts spoke with MLB.com about Walker Buehler’s anticipated return at the start of Spring Training, his plans to speak with Clayton Kershaw about returning to the Dodgers, and more.
- The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes that the Dodgers have several options when it comes to their offseason moves, including possibly trading Gavin Lux to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Willy Adames, who’d fill in the gap at shortstop.
- For a potential right-handed batter in free agency, the Dodgers have reportedly shown interest in a Kiké Hernández reunion (per Rosenthal) as well as Isiah Kiner-Falefa (per Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic).