One area the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t figure to be lacking is in next season is starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw was signed to a contract extension, Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the qualifying offer and Walker Buehler figures to continue emerging.
And there’s plenty of depth behind them as well. Rich Hill is entering the final year of his contract, Kenta Maeda is expected to be moved back into the rotation, and there are the likes of Ross Stripling, Julio Urias and Alex Wood as potential options as well.
That being said, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is one of the many executives who subscribes to the notion of never having enough pitching. Los Angeles has experienced that first hand over the past two seasons while dealing with a rash of injuries.
Although he would appear to be an unconventional candidate for depth in 2019, the Dodgers are looking to sign Garrett Richards, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred:
Sources: Garrett Richards has offers from the Dodgers and Padres. Dodgers are making a push.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2018
Richards went 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA, 4.13 FIP and 1.28 WHIP in 16 starts prior to undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery in July. At the time of announcing his plans, Richards said his hope was to return to pitching in 2020.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with the 42nd pick in 2009, the 30-year-old went 45-38 with a 3.54 ERA over parts of eight seasons with the club. Multiple arm injuries limited him to just 28 starts over the past three years.
Richards missed most of the 2016 season due to a partial UCL tear in his right elbow that was treated by a stem-cell injection. He then managed to make just one start last year before being sidelined until September because of a nerve issue in his right biceps.
Heading into free agency coming off Tommy John surgery, Richards may need to sign a two-year contract similar to what Drew Smyly ($10 million), Michael Pineda ($10 million) and Nathan Eovaldi ($4 million) received.
The three pitchers spent a full season rehabbing before returning to a Major League in the final year of their respective contracts.