Dodgers: Addressing How the New Pitchers Fit with the Dodgers

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 02: Yu Darvish
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 02: Yu Darvish /
4 of 4
ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 02: Yu Darvish
ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 02: Yu Darvish /

Yu Darvish, RHP 

Surprise surprise the Dodgers made a block buster move for the BIG fish. The Dodgers were able to pull off a last minute buzzer beater to make a deal to bring Darvish to LA shifting the power of balance in the MLB in the Dodgers favor.

More from Dodgers Way

After weeks of speculation whether Darvish would be traded from Texas, the Rangers finally caved and traded him to the Dodgers for a trio of Dodger prospects. In the trade, the Dodgers sent number 4 prospect Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy (19), and Brendon Davis to Texas for the Japanese right-hander.

Darvish, who is in his contract season, was perhaps the most dominant pitcher on the market during this July deadline. Although Darvish sits at 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA on the year, not one team ever questions his stuff. In what appears to be a down year for Darvish’s career, he still owns a 9.72 K/9 with an .224 opponents batting average against.

Darvish has only had one season (2013) where he finished the season with an ERA below 3.0. But his strikeout numbers have been among the league’s best since he made his debut in 2012. Darvish is the type of pitcher that you can expect to throw six to seven shutout innings every time he steps on the mound. Yes, he does tend to give up the long ball from time to time, but he also can flat out dominate a game with high strikeout totals.

What makes this trade so special is that Darvish is asked to take over the number two spot in the rotation behind Kershaw. Darvish has always had a high loss total due in large part to the Rangers not being able to score off opponent’s aces. Slotting him behind Kershaw gives Darvish room for error.

Darvish also brings balance to a lefty dominant rotation. Before this trade, the Dodgers were looking at a 1-2-3 rotation of all lefties and having to decide between Kenta Maeda and Brandon McCarthy (assuming healthy) for their fourth starter. The acquisition of Darvish brings balance and also gives Kershaw the ability to rest in a seven game series and not have to pitch game one, four and possibly seven.

Darvish also brings flexibility to the bullpen. With Darvish solidified in the rotation Dave Roberts now can move either Hyun-Jin Ryu or Kenta Maeda to the bullpen. I’d expect Ryu to make the transition to the bullpen as it helps the problem we pointed out earlier about the Dodgers needing a southpaw in the bullpen.

Next: Dodgers Have a Starting Pitching Problem (Again)

Trade Grade A: Darvish may be a rental this season, which may be the worst part of the deal. But the Dodgers have something special brewing this season and for the front office to not take a chance on Darvish this season would be doing the Dodger fans injustice. Darvish has pitched in the postseason before and up until last season he’s been a reliable arm in the rotation. Giving up Willie Calhoun will hurt the Dodgers farm system a bit, but Calhoun’s path to the majors was blocked by Forsythe this season and Taylor next year. This trade makes the Dodgers overwhelmingly favorites in the NL but now also favorites to win the World Series.