Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Dodgers could still be in the market for Masahiro Tanaka. Of course I think they’ll be serious suitors for the Japanese right hander and are reported as one of the finalists for his services. Something in there that he mentions is also something very very interesting. He also mentions that the Dodgers could still add pitching depth through the free agent market. In fact they want another starting pitcher, and apparently, Bronson Arroyo is on the “short list” of pitchers they could look to add before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
Let me start off by saying what a great deal for Clayton Kershaw, because of course I have to chip in. It’s essentially a 5/150 million dollar deal (I have a strong feeling he uses that opt out). Far inferior pitchers like James Shields and possibly Jon Lester are looking at a similar deal (from a pure monetary standpoint) next offseason. Teams normally look for value in an extension, and man have they found a bargain! If we’re looking at what he really should have gotten, the Dodgers probably saved themselves either 3 years and 85 million dollars, or 5 years and 150 million dollars, by simply using the likely 10 year 300 million he would have gotten on the open market, the Dodgers found themselves a sweet deal. I have literally waited all offseason in fear of what a Kershaw extension would have looked like, if i’m being candid I was wondering at what point would be enough, they couldn’t pay him endless amounts of money, so what would it have been? Well it’s a good thing they did, and I love it, with this extension they can focus on other priorities like… Bronson Arroyo?
I’m vehemently against a potential acquisition of Arroyo, it simply wouldn’t make sense.Arroyo has been a very solid pitcher for most of his career, a fine backend starter if there’s ever been one. I swear this isn’t a dig at Arroyo, being a #4 in this market and this day in age allows you to earn a lot of money, by the time Bronson Arroyo is done, he may very well have made in excess of 100 million dollars throughout the course of his career, but for the Dodgers it wouldn’t make sense. We know what Tanaka brings to the table, a whole new market along with him, he has youth, he has stuff, he has command, he’s an asset you invest in and are reaping the upside he brings for years to come. Arroyo… not so much, he was worth (respectively) in his past 4 years 1.7, -1.5, 2.4, 0.8 fWAR, a spectacularly boring pitcher.
Again, there is nothing wrong with Bronson Arroyo, there are certain teams (the Twins could be used as an example) who haven’t really developed back end starters at the major league levels and are forced to give out massive contracts to middling starters. Ricky Nolasco got over 50 million dollars this year. There is tremendous value in developing your own talent, if the Twins had Zach Lee and Ross Striping it would probably have saved them 50 million dollars.
I’d be for Arroyo if the Dodgers didn’t already have some options available to them, remember Zach Lee, Ross Stripling, Matt Magill? Yep. They ALL make the major league minimum of just over $500,000. The fact they are considering signing Arroyo is troubling to say the least. We are talking about an organization who has not given their pitching prospects much of a chance at all since Kershaw’s draft. It seems since Kershaw’s debut in 2008 only 2 legitimate prospects have been called up to the major leagues, wildly inconsistent Nathan Eovaldi and sacrificial lamb Matt Magill.
I don’t like philosophy a whole lot of limiting your young starters, granted there weren’t a lot of young starters to limit in McCourt’s day. But it would signal that not much has changed, they have some nearly major league ready talent in Stripling and Lee now. Do I really think they will sign Arroyo? No. But it would just be really annoying if they missed out on Tanaka and didn’t give Beckett/Lee/Stripling/Magill a chance to round out the rotation, I would love to see a homegrown pitcher in there and actually stick for the duration of 30+ starts.