Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the offseason with starting pitching among their biggest needs as they look to improve a roster that fell short of returning to the World Series this year.
With Clayton Kershaw, Lance Lynn and Julio Urías reaching free agency, the team’s rotation is thin at the moment. Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan and Gavin Stone are the only healthy starting pitchers under contract, though Walker Buehler should be ready for the start of Spring Training.
Michael Grove and Ryan Yarbrough are also options, although the Dodgers seem to prefer both in the bullpen.
The Dodgers under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman historically have avoided doling out large contracts to free-agent starting pitchers, but that will likely change this winter.
Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said adding a starting pitcher or two via free agency and/or the trade market is at the top of the team’s to-do list, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It’s a priority for us,” Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes said. “We’re looking to add a starting pitcher or two and how that comes about is based on the trade market, free agency and balancing that with our internal options. But it’ll be something we want to do. I don’t think we’re unique to that. I bet you every other team is in that space, too, but that is our mindset right now and a priority.”
The Dodgers have already been linked to several big-name starting pitchers, including the offseason’s biggest prize in Shohei Ohtani. But with Ohtani not expected to pitch in 2024 after undergoing elbow surgery, L.A. would still have to add two starters in the event they sign him.
The Dodgers are also rumored to have interest in free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is expected to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes in the next week or so. The team could also circle back to Eduardo Rodriguez after indicating he would consider signing with any team this offseason.
In terms of potential trade targets, the Dodgers could pursue a deal for Corbin Burnes if the Milwaukee Brewers make him available, along with the Chicago White Sox’ Dylan Cease and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tyler Glasnow.
Will Dodgers sign Shohei Ohtani?
With all eyes on Ohtani’s free agency, there is some belief that the two-way star has already decided which team to join. The Dodgers have long been connected to Ohtani, and executives around the league continue to think that will ultimately be his landing sport.
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