It was announced on Tuesday that Los Angeles Dodgers‘ right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler underwent Tommy John surgery and would miss the rest of the 2022 season and most likely the entire 2023 season. This is Buehler’s second Tommy John surgery (his first came in 2015), and it typically takes longer for a second Tommy John to heal.
Los Angeles can survive without him this season thanks to huge years from the likes of Tony Gonsolin, Tyler Anderson and Julio Urías. Getting Dustin May and a (hopefully) healthy Clayton Kershaw for October is huge as well.
However, the team is in an interesting spot for the 2023 season. Anderson, Kershaw and Andrew Heaney are all free agents, depleting the team’s starting pitching depth. As good as Tony Gonsolin is, the team cannot completely bank on him doing this again, and after examining the list of arms, it quickly becomes clear that they might need to go out and make a splashy free-agent signing.
The starting pitching market is not great this offseason, but there are still some options.
Here are 4 pitchers the Los Angeles Dodgers could sign to replace injured Walker Buehler in 2023:
4. Carlos Rodón
Carlos Rodón is by far the best option for the Los Angeles Dodgers if they are going to spend big in free agency for a starting pitcher in the winter. The southpaw Cy Young candidate signed a two-year, $44 million contract with the San Francisco Giants last offseason after a breakout year with the Chicago White Sox.
Rodón has proven that he can continue to pitch at that high level this season with another great showing on the Giants. With how he is pitching this season, there is no doubt that Rodón is going to exercise his player option and sign a new deal.
That is where the Dodgers can swoop in and get the best of both worlds. They would have someone to help atop the rotation next season, but would also have a knockout lefty that can be a consistent part of the rotation for years to come. With Clayton Kershaw getting up there in age, having another lefty like Rodón would be huge.
If I had to guess based on his age and how he has pitched, I would guess that Rodon will sign somewhere around a five-year, $140 million contract this offseason ($28 million per season). With money coming off the books, LA can afford it.