Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With another early offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers are faced with a challenging stretch ahead as they have multiple needs on their roster. Starting pitching figures to be at the top of their wishlist.
The Dodgers have a solid group for the middle and backend of their rotation with Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan and Gavin Stone, but they still need someone to pitch at the front of their rotation, and possibly two, depending on the health of Walker Buehler and what Clayton Kershaw decides is in store for his future.
Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are unlikely to be options in 2024 as well.
The Dodgers may look to the trade market, but free agency has multiple top-of-the-rotation arms, including Japanese phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto, likely National League Cy Young Winner Blake Snell, and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Aaron Nola. Shohei Ohtani is also set to become a free agent, but he will be unavailable to pitch in 2024.
Yamamoto is the prize of the offseason, but teams that miss out on him may look to Nola as a fallback option. However, the right-hander would prefer to stay with the Phillies, which could make signing him difficult.
“Yeah, I hope so,” Nola said. “I really do. I love it here. Obviously it’s the only place I’ve been. I came up through some special times in the rebuilding era ask and getting to witness and be a part of a lot of different type of teams. To be on a team like I am now, it’s really cool and special to see and to be a part of all the success and failures to get to where we are now.”
Nola is coming off a down season where he posted a 4.46 ERA across 193.2 innings, but he was still able to strike out 202 hitters while posting an expected FIP of 3.63 and an expected ERA of 3.77, along with 3.9 WAR.
Over the course of his career, the 30-year-old has established himself as a frontline innings-eater, throwing at least 200 innings in three of his seven fulls seasons and 180 or more in another two of his seasons.
He owns a career 3.72 ERA across 1,422 innings with a 3.38 FIP, 10.01 strikeouts per nine, 2.35 walks per nine, a 1.13 WHIP and 33.9 WAR.
Walker Buehler impressed with Phillies
Buehler has been able to watch the last two postseasons fully as an observer after undergoing a second Tommy John Surgery, and he’s come to a conclusion that talent and experience is helping the Phillies in the playoffs.
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