Without making much of a splash, the Los Angeles Dodgers have already experienced quite the offseason. As the Arizona Diamondbacks have bolstered their starting rotation, the Dodgers’ biggest move is one that wasn’t — the failed trade for Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.
Even with Iwakuma seemingly in the fold, the Dodgers continue searching for another starter, particularly with them having lost Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Although Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman spoke highly last month of the organization’s improved pitching depth, specifically in Triple-A Oklahoma City, he doesn’t envision any prospect contributing in the 2016 season out of the gate.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, Friedman is focused on allowing the prospects to continue with a normal development:
“We want to do what’s right for those guys. Now we may get to spring training and it’s accelerated. It’s certainly not something we would plan on right now, with where those guys are. We feel like a number of them will impact us during the 2016 season. Don’t think it’s fair to them and their development to say we’re going to count on that in April of 2016. Now it may end up happening with injuries and things that happen, but it’s certainly not something that we’re planning for, as we sit here in December.”
Julio Urias is undeniably the highest-touted pitcher in the Dodgers’ Minor League system. However, he reportedly may be the centerpiece of a trade for Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.
Among others who have drawn rave reviews are Jharel Cotton and Jose De Leon. While Urias has been rumored as a potential trade chip, Cotton or De Leon getting packaged in a deal wouldn’t be a complete shock, dependent on the Dodgers’ return, of course.
So as not to box themselves in, Friedman recently allowed the club doesn’t necessarily view Urias or any prospects as being off limits in trade talks.
Cotton, De Leon and Urias all spent the bulk of last season with Double-A Tulsa. De Leon also made seven starts for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.