The Los Angeles Dodgers have several needs to address this offseason, including starting pitcher, as Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney officially became free agents last week.
The club wasted no time by reportedly re-signing Kershaw to a one-year contract worth an estimated $20 million. Even with the left-hander set to return, L.A. figures to be in the market for at least one more starting pitcher.
To this point, the Dodgers have been connected to Japanese ace Kodai Senga, who opted out of his contract with the Nippon Professional Baseball’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
Another possibility is Houston Astros free agent and presumed American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, who reportedly sees a potential fit with the Dodgers, via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Verlander, who personally negotiated his free-agent deal with Astros owner Jim Crane while vacationing in Italy last offseason, seemed a good bet to re-sign quickly with Houston. But it has not happened, perhaps because Verlander sees the potential for lucrative opportunities with the Mets, Yankees and Dodgers, among others.
After missing the entire 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Verlander re-signed with the Astros on a one-year contract and turned in one of the best seasons of his career.
The 39-year-old went 18-4 with an MLB-best 1.75 ERA, 2.49 FIP and 0.83 WHIP in 175 innings pitched, recording 175 strikeouts against 29 walks (28 starts).
With Verlander entering his age-40 season, he is likely seeking a short-term contract with a high average annual salary. The two-time Cy Young Award winner would give the Dodgers another ace and insurance with Walker Buehler expected to miss the entire 2023 season.
Dodgers attempted to sign Justin Verlander during 2021 offseason
Prior to re-signing with the Astros last year, Verlander reportedly drew interest from the Dodgers and many other teams after impressing during a throwing showcase.
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