Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Didn’t Recruit Gerrit Cole Before Signing ‘Pretty Impressive’ Contract With Yankees
Starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Clayton Kershaw prior to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins

The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the offseason with a disappointing loss to the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series, which many anticipated would lead to notable roster changes.

The Dodgers again remained below the luxury tax threshold and were among the teams expected to pursue Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. The Dodgers held meetings with each of the marquee free agents but failed to sign one.

Strasburg predictably re-signed with the Nationals, Cole joined the Yankees on a record-breaking nine-year contract, and Rendon favored the L.A. Angels. The Dodgers did not extend a contract offer to Rendon because of a sense he didn’t have interest in joining the team, and he later described the ‘Hollywood lifestyle’ as not being a fit.

The Dodgers were said to have their entire focus on Cole, and indications are they extended an eight-year, $300 million contract offer that included deferrals.

Although an organization’s top players at times will contribute to pitches for free agents, Kershaw did not speak with Cole but spoke highly of the right-hander ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:

Kershaw never called to recruit him.

“We would’ve loved to have him here,” Kershaw said, “but that deal was pretty impressive for him.”

After missing out on Cole the Dodgers reportedly shifted their focus to Madison Bumgarner. Despite assertions there was mutual interest between the two parties, the longtime San Francisco Giants ace went on to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As various options have come off the board, L.A. nonetheless appears to have continued interest in adding a starter to their rotation. Hyun-Jin Ryu remains available, and the Dodgers reportedly are attempting to facilitate a trade for Francisco Lindor that would also include Mike Clevinger.

If a new pitcher isn’t added to the organization, the Dodgers will begin the 2020 season with a rotation that features Walker Buehler, Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias and one of Ross Stripling, Tony Gonsolin or Dustin May.

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