The Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be a sleeping giant this offseason as although they have not made any moves to this point, they have financial flexibility and one of the best farm systems to tap into.
One area of need they will need to address is their pitching staff with the potential departures of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill in free agency. Additionally, L.A. is always looking for bullpen help after another season in which that unit struggled.
The big-name starting pitchers available on the market are Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, and the Dodgers have been linked to both.
If they don’t want to give either of those two the long-term, lucrative contracts they are seeking, another option could be Kevin Gausman. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Dodgers are talking with him in addition to all of the big names on the market:
The #Dodgers quietly are being aggressive this winter. They’re in talks with free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, and starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Kevin Gausman. Several rivals say LA also is willing to listen to trade offers on several of their high-priced players
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 3, 2019
Gausman was once a highly-touted prospect after being drafted fourth overall by the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. He has struggled for the most part in his big league career though, causing him to be traded twice and non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds this week.
In 31 games (17 starts) between the Atlanta Braves and Reds in 2019, Gausman went a combined 3-9 with a 5.72 ERA, 3.98 FIP and 1.42 WHIP with 114 strikeouts and 32 walks in 102.1 innings. He was better after being converted to a reliever with the Reds, pitching to a 3.10 ERA in 14 appearances compared to his 6.37 ERA in 17 starts.
Considering he still throws hard, the Dodgers may have seen something that they liked in Gausman when he was coming out of the bullpen in Cincinnati. He is the type of reclamation project that they have taken chances on in the past and found success, so it is not surprising to see them looking to do it again.
If L.A. is looking to spend big though then Strasburg seems to be one of their top options. He is coming off an outstanding season in which he went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 1.04 WHIP in 33 starts. He struck out 251 and walked 56 in 209 innings, and was even better in the postseason when he took home World Series MVP honors.
As noted, the Dodgers continue to be linked to Anthony Rendon and additionally are believed to have a willingness to field trade offers for some of their marquee players.
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