MLB Free Agency Rumors: Dodgers Among Teams Interested In Robert Stephenson

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers significantly improved their roster with the additions of Tyler Glasnow, Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they remain in search of an additional starting pitcher and may look to address the bullpen as well.

The Dodgers reportedly have interest in Josh Hader, but the Houston Astros are said to be making a push to sign the left-hander. Hader is the top relief pitcher available in free agency, and his signing could end up unlocking the market.

Also still available is Robert Stephenson, another relief pitcher the Dodgers have been connected to this offseason.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Stephenson may soon sign with a team and is receiving interest from the Dodgers, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, among other teams:

As the Josh Hader talks pick up with Houston, per @Ken_Rosenthal and @Chandler_Rome, the market is moving forward for Robert Stephenson, the top available righty reliever.

The Mets, Dodgers, and Phillies are among the clubs with interest in Stephenson. @MLBNetwork

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 19, 2024

Stephenson started the 2023 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates but was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in June for Alika Williams.

He went a combined 3-4 with a 3.10 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 0.88 WHIP and a 38.3% strikeout rate in 60 appearances last year. Stephenson had career-best marks in ERA, WHIP, strikeout percentage, games and opponents’ batting average (.162).

The majority of that success came after Stephenson was traded to the Rays. He suffered from right arm discomfort during Spring Training and started the season on the 15-day injured list, which limited Stephenson to just 18 appearances with the Pirates.

During that span, he was 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA and had a 13.1% walk rate.

The Cincinnati Reds used their first-round pick on Stephenson in the 2011 MLB Draft. He appeared on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list four years in a row from 2013-2016, which included topping out at No. 19 in 2014.

Stephenson made his MLB debut with the Reds in 2016 as a starting pitcher. He converted to a bullpen role in 2019.

Potential Robert Stephenson contract

Although this offseason has been slow-moving for free agents, Stephenson potentially could still receive a multi-year contract worth an estimated $30 million.

He would add another intriguing option to the Dodgers bullpen, but the group is also crowded with key contributors returning in 2024.

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