With the number of viable free-agent options dwindling, it appears increasingly more likely the Los Angeles Dodgers will need to address their starting pitching need via trade.
At minimum, the Dodgers need one starter to fill the void left in the rotation by Zack Greinke signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
However, Los Angeles certainly would benefit from adding two starters given question marks that are Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who are both coming off respective season-ending surgery.
Of the two, Ryu is expected to return first — and in time for Spring Training — which the left-hander recently said he remains on track for.
Over the last few weeks Los Angeles has often been linked to Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. However, Miami’s exorbitant asking price has largely prevented trade talks from getting serious.
The Dodgers are staying in touch with the Marlins on Jose Fernandez, but it remains difficult to imagine the teams matching up on a trade unless Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria decides he wants Fernandez gone. The Braves’ big return for Shelby Miller only heightened the Marlins’ expectations for a Fernandez deal, sources say — and the Marlins had high expectations from the start. Adding to the degree of difficulty: The question of how many innings Fernandez will pitch in 2016 and beyond. “Makes it hard to price it correctly for both sides,” one source with knowledge of the talks says.
It’s believed Miami previously asked for Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Scott Van Slyke, among others, in exchange for Fernandez. The Dodgers naturally balked at the proposal, though reportedly did hold internal discussions over including Urias as part of a package.
Additionally, Los Angeles reportedly explored the possibility of including a third team to aid the effort of meeting Miami’s demands in a trade for their young righty.
Fernandez, though only 23 years old, did undergo Tommy John surgery in May 2014. He returned in July last season and went 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA, 2.24 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, 79 strikeouts and 14 walks over 11 starts (64.2 innings).
Fernandez is a career 22-9 with a 2.40 ERA, 160 ERA+, 2.52 FIP and 1.01 WHIP in 47 starts. He is under team control for the next three seasons.