The starting rotation was expected to be an area of focus for the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason due to Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill officially reaching free agency at the conclusion of the World Series.
The club heavily pursued Gerrit Cole before he signed a record-breaking contract with the New York Yankees, reportedly offering him $300 million over eight years.
After missing out on Cole, L.A. was said to have shifted their focus to signing Madison Bumgarner. Though, he ultimately joined the Arizona Diamondbacks on a five-year contract.
Ryu and Hill have both signed elsewhere as well, leaving the Dodgers with limited options on the free agency front. They nevertheless added an intriguing arm this week by inking former Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson to a one-year contract.
With Nelson now in the mix to earn a spot in the starting rotation, the Dodgers remain on the lookout for additional help. One potential target they are enamored with is former Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar, via David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“I would expect them to try to do that again. I don’t see them stopping at Jimmy Nelson. I know they like Danny Salazar, who’s a free agent.”
Salazar has been limited to just one start over the past two seasons, missing all of 2018 while recovering from shoulder surgery. He didn’t make his 2019 debut until Aug. 1 and was promptly placed on the 10-day injured list the following day due to a groin strain.
Salazar was eventually transferred to the 60-day injured list in September, ending any chance of him returning to the mound.
Prior to his recent bouts with injuries, Salazar was a staple of the Indians starting rotation, averaging 26 appearances and 141 innings pitched from 2015-17. He was selected to the All-Star Game in 2016, going 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 1.34 WHIP and 10.6 strikeouts per nine over 137.1 innings.
Similar to their additions of Blake Treinen and Nelson, the Dodgers would be banking on Salazar recapturing his previous form should a signing come to fruition.
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