The Los Angeles Dodgers have their work cut out for them this offseason with so many key players reaching free agency.
Their biggest need is to add starting pitching as Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer are currently free agents, and the status of Trevor Bauer is still undecided by MLB. It is widely expected Bauer could face a lengthy suspension that may span multiple seasons.
Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin are the only three starting pitchers on the roster whose status is more certain for next season, so Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged addressing the rotation will be a focus of this offseason.
“We’ve got some really good guys in place,” Friedman said. “That being said, we’re going to need to address that.”
David Price presumably is a candidate to return to the rotation, however, the Dodgers seemed reluctant to use him in that role this past season.
Friedman also pointed out the Dodgers have talented pitching prospects, such as Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot and Landon Knack, who could make their respective MLB debuts next season and will provide valuable rotation depth for the club.
“It really gives us a strong foundation and depth, so now rounding the rotation will definitely be something we’re focused on as we get into the winter,” Friedman said.
Among their two free-agent starters, L.A. opted not to extend the qualifying offer to Kershaw but should still have interest in bringing the franchise legend back.
It’s believed Scherzer has interest in re-signing with the Dodgers.
Dodgers begin acquiring rotation help
L.A. reportedly has already begun to fill out their rotation with the signing of Andrew Heaney, who was a popular name on the market because of the upside he brings with some potential changes to pitch mix.
The left-hander posted a 5.83 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 30 games for the L.A. Angels and New York Yankees this year, but he also struck out roughly 27% of hitters while walking around 7%.
The signing of Heaney should be seen as a low-risk, high-upside play to add to the rotation and should not affect the Dodgers’ pursuit of bringing back Kershaw, Scherzer or adding any other big-name pitchers to the rotation.