Dodgers: Speculating on front office’s 12 ‘elite’ Winter Meetings targets
Potential Pitchers for LA to Add
The Boys in Blue reportedly will be seeing a relief pitcher join the ranks at some point this offseason, and that player might even be ‘elite’. Just how many bullpen options that could garner this designation are out there though without Will Smith and Drew Pomeranz?
For starters, Dellin Betances, Will Harris, and Daniel Hudson all could be considered elite, though really, it would be a stretch for all three of them at this point. Betances is coming off of a 2019 season that was the shortest and least valuable season of his career (he only recorded two outs). But the soon to be 32-year-old certainly has the name and history to garner the ‘elite’ moniker in many circles, as he was an AL All-Star for all four seasons from 2014-2017. Harris and Hudson also have All-Star game appearances under their belts, but both are older than Betances are certainly have less upside.
The most recently elite reliever on the free-agent market is Blake Treinen, whose 2018 All-Star campaign saw him save 38 games with an 0.78 ERA and 100 strikeouts to 21 walks. Even if his numbers declined in 2019, the Dodgers don’t need a closer, they just need a shutdown arm for the late innings.
Looking beyond the bullpen, there are certainly usable starting pitchers available as well, especially ones that the Dodgers could use to eat innings if they lose both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill and/or if they deal either Kenta Maeda or Ross Stripling. Former American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello is available and is unlikely to need more than a one-year “show me” contract from whichever team picks him up. A former first-rounder out of high school, Porcello, who will turn 31 this month, has thrown at least 172 innings in every season since 2011. While his stuff is declining, an innings eater with 40 postseason innings to his name is not someone who normally can be had for as cheap as Porcello, especially if LA and Dave Roberts only ask him to throw three or four innings a game.
With the pitching market mostly tapped out, let’s move on to hitters.