The Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their starting rotation with the signing of reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer to a record-setting three-year contract, making him the highest-paid player in baseball for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The addition of Bauer gives the Dodgers a third ace and potentially one of the best staffs ever assembled. He joins a group that is set to include fellow Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and David Price, and rising stars Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.
Beyond those five, the Dodgers have three additional starters in Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Jimmy Nelson, who could receive opportunities this season depending on injuries or workload management.
“I feel like we have a lot of depth,” Gonsolin said. “We’ve got seven, eight guys that can compete at the big league level. We’ll see what happens from there.”
With eight pitchers vying for five spots, Gonsolin’s chances of making the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation took a hit with the signing of Bauer. However, he still saw the positives of the move.
“Adding him to the roster adds to the competition and raises that bar of the level you need to be at to make this team and ideally reach that starting rotation spot,” Gonsolin said. “Definitely just a good person to have.”
When news broke that the Dodgers were signing Bauer, Gonsolin admitted he didn’t have much of a reaction. “I didn’t really react too hard,” he said. “I just kind of thought, ‘Alright, it’s cool. We got another right-handed pitcher. Someone I’ve admired.’
“I like the way he pitches and uses all his pitches, how he practices, how he works and all that stuff. Just a great mind to pick and learn from.”
With Spring Training workouts now in full swing, Gonsolin noted he is looking to improve his fastball command. “Just kind of work on my overall game. Fastball command, making sure everything is spinning right, doing the things I want it to do, and ultimately using everything,” he said.
May sets goal of making Dodgers’ Opening Day starting rotation
Like Gonsolin, May faces steep odds of making the Dodgers’ Opening Day starting rotation, but will do everything in his power to earn a spot. “At this point in the year I’ve got to go out and do everything that I can,” May said.
“I’m fighting for a spot. We’ve got seven guys to fill five roles. I’ve got to go out and do everything that I can to get one of them. That’s my goal: to be on the Opening Day roster as a starter. So I’ve got to do everything in my power to go out there and achieve it.”
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