Coming off a season in which their starting rotation and bullpen let them down at various points, pitching figured to be a point of emphasis for the Los Angeles Dodgers this winter.
The focal point of that is Zack Greinke, who unsurprisingly opted out of the three years and $71 million remaining on his contract.
However, the Dodgers also have other concerns in the rotation with Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu coming off season-ending surgeries, and Brett Anderson also a free agent. Anderson was extended the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.
According to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman identified pitching as a focal point:
“It’s obviously early in the process. … Right now, I think teams and players are in a fact-finding mode, and trying to get as good a sense as they can of what’s available and what’s possible. … For the most part, we’re going to be focused on pitching. … Really focusing on rounding out our rotation and being opportunistic in the pen is a large part of our focus.”
Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood are the lone holdovers from the Dodgers’ 2015 rotation who are under contract and healthy. As for the bullpen, J.P. Howell exercised his player option to return, while the Dodgers declined their club option on Joel Peralta.
The priority during free agency presumably will be placed on Greinke, or signing another elite starting pitcher to pair at the top of the rotation with Kershaw. Fortunately for the Dodgers, this year’s market isn’t short on arms, in terms of both starters and relievers.
Los Angeles was reported as being one of multiple teams interested in Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Darren O’Day. The general manager meetings typically serve as a primer to the more-active Winter Meetings, which this year begin Dec. 7 in Nashville, Tenn.