Dodgers: Potential adds from non-tendered free agent pool

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Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 15: Jimmy Nelson #52 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on June 15, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Non-tendered starting pitching options

The Dodgers do not have a shortage of starting pitching from a technical standpoint, but they certainly seem to have a lack of innings eaters and top-end starters, especially if Hyun-Jin Ryu leaves via free agency. In my opinion, Kenta Maeda should also be dealt, maybe even along with Ross Stripling, to make way for the young arms of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and Julio Urias to make 15-20 starts a piece at least.

In order for that sort of strategy to be viable though, and even to simply keep an injury-plagued rotation afloat, the Dodgers could look to add some low-cost, high-ceiling starters from the non-tendered pile.

The biggest name that sticks out to me from that group is Jimmy Nelson. The burly right-hander went 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA in 2017 before going down on the injured list with a shoulder injury for all of 2018 and most of the 2019 season. Nelson did not have a strong 2019 campaign in 22 innings, but the upside he possesses makes him a big-time value play for the Dodgers, as from 2015 to 2017, Nelson never threw less than 170 innings in a season.

Another pair of oft-injured starting pitchers with some big-time upside that LA could make a play for are Taijuan Walker and Aaron Sanchez. Both have dealt with injuries for much of their young careers, but they also have some of the best stuff in the game when they’re healthy.

Walker, a former-Arizona Diamondback, has thrown 14 innings over the past two seasons, so he’ll have to be brought back slowly, but that does not mean much to the Dodgers, who have plenty of pitching depth to sustain an early IL stint by Walker. Like Nelson, his best season came in 2017, when he went 9-9 with a 3.49 ERA in 28 starts for the Dbacks.

Sanchez injured himself late in the 2019 season after he was traded to the Houston Astros. Before the injury, he’d amassed over 130 innings for the first time since his peak season back in 2016, when he went 15-2 with over 190 innings of a 3.00 ERA for the Toronto Blue Jays, a season in which he racked up a postseason win as well.

All of these pitchers have injury concerns, but all will be on short-term deals for low salaries. They can used out of the bullpen and as spot starters since they have no developmental meaning in the long-term for the team.

Let’s look into the outfield now.

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