Clayton Kershaw isn’t your older brother’s Clayton Kershaw, but he’s still one of the top five starters in the game.
Rich Hill is a fabulous No. 2, Alex Wood is a more-than-serviceable No. 3, and a whole bunch of guys will make up the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the rotation in 2018.
Names like Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler and, eventually, Julio Urias will give the Dodgers a formidable staff.
But, what if they did go out and sign a Jake Arrieta or trade for a Chris Archer.
It would immediately vault the Dodgers to instant World Series favorites (see a theme developing here?).
Arrieta puts the Dodgers well above the tax threshold, and there is absolutely no way that’s happening with next winter’s free agent class looming on the horizon, so he’s out.
Chances of signing him are about as good as Yu Darvish pitching a stellar World Series Game 7 after getting shellacked in Game 2.
So what would it take to trade for Archer? See: Yelich. At first look, Archer’s numbers don’t really stand out. He went a pedestrian 10-12 in 2017, but he was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that won a total of 76 games.
It’s the 4.07 ERA, 1.259 WHIP, 3.40 FIP and 101 ERA+ (where 100 is league average) that stand out. Those numbers certainly are not Yelich-return-type numbers.
In reality, either Ruiz or Smith, plus Stewart or Stripling, should be all it takes. The Rays are holding out for more, but with only two years of control, plus an option year, remaining for Archer, anything more would be overpaying for a slightly above average starter who would likely slot in at No. 3 or 4 in L.A.
The Dodgers probably won’t obtain an outfielder. They probably won’t obtain an impact starter.
So, what if the Dodgers …