Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
2. Sign an ace and a couple other pitchers
Clayton Kershaw is obviously the alpha dog and there’s no other pitcher in baseball that would take that spot from him. However, having another ace behind Kershaw was huge over the last couple years.
The Dodgers need pitchers behind Kershaw, whether it be ace types or other rotation guys. Right now, their rotation consists of Kershaw, Alex Wood, Brett Anderson, and maybe eventually Hyun-jin Ryu and McCarthy. Most of their stud minor leaguers are still a year or more away, so the Dodgers will have to turn to trades or free agency to fill out the rotation. They have the prospects and pieces to make trades work, but it would be more wise for them to spend money instead of prospects to get an ace.
The Dodgers picked a great offseason to desperately need pitching, as there are a few aces to be had. In contrast, next years’ free agency class is extremely weak (Andrew Cashner is arguably the second best pitcher in next years’ FA class behind Stephen Strasburg). This year, Zack Greinke and David Price are the top prizes, but Johnny Cueto is another ace-type that will likely command less money. A tier lower, there are guys like Ian Kennedy, Jeff Samardzija and Mike Leake, who no one will mistake as aces but are valuable innings eaters.
J.A. Happ just got a three year, $36 million deal from Toronto. Relatively speaking, Greinke or Price should probably get 40 times that. They’ll realistically each command closer to $150-$200 million. Thankfully, the Detroit Tigers normalized the market by reportedly signing Jordan Zimmermann to a reasonable five year, $110 million contract. I was never firmly in the “sign Zimmermann” camp, but that’s an extremely fair price for a pitcher of his talents, so hopefully that sets the market and Greinke and Price sign for reasonable amounts.
While the team that won the World Series literally had Edinson Volquez and Chris Young in their WS rotation, it would still feel horrible for the Dodgers to not bring in an ace and another pitcher or two. I’d personally be shocked if Greinke or Price weren’t in Dodger blue next year, but they also shouldn’t stop there. Adding a lower tier guy could be just as valuable.
Also, don’t sign Mat Latos please.
Next: Get Another OF Back?