Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers remain heavily linked to multiple starting pitchers in free agency as the MLB hot stove has yet to heat up. Thus far, Aaron Nola re-signing with the Philadelphia Phillies is the lone activity with a starter.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has already identified the starting rotation as a focal point for the team this offseason. Vowing to be more motivated in free agency this time around, the need matches a relatively strong crop of available starters.
Because of their organizational depth of arms in recent years, the Dodgers haven’t needed a zealous approach to paying big money to starting pitchers. Friedman has reserved the long-term contracts for position players, but he noted efforts were previously made and more aggression could be seen this time around, per Bill Plunkett of the Sourthern California News Group:
“We’ve made big offers on free-agent starters,” Friedman said defensively. “But up until this year, you couldn’t have better production. So it gets into how aggressive you are based on where you’re at from a talent-base standpoint. That changes year to year. The future outlook is different all the time and is something we’re constantly factoring into any and all decisions we make.”
Prior to signing with the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $324 million contract, the Dodgers reportedly offered Gerrit Cole a deal in the neighborhood of eight years. It would’ve been the largest contract in Dodgers history handed out to a staring pitcher, but it also was due to include a significant amount of deferred salary.
The Dodgers signed Mookie Betts to a contract extension that includes money paid through 2044, which is an approach some players and agents aren’t keen on. But Friedman has yet to sign a pitcher to a mega contract, which he could change this winter.
Who could Dodgers target in free agency to aid starting rotation
The Dodgers wound up in a bind toward the end of the 2023 regular season and the lack of dependable pitching played a part in getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers are said to have interest in Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who projects as a frontline starter. Friedman could also shift his sights to Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, or even dip into the trade market, looking to acquire Dylan Cease from the Chicago White Sox.
L.A. could also pay a hefty price to bring in Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers, but given his status as a client of Scott Boras, the likelihood of an immediate extension is wildly low.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!