Pitchers the Dodgers could sign to replace injured Walker Buehler in 2023
By Jason Reed
1. Jacob deGrom
The best pitcher on the planet ranked No. 4 on this list? Jacob deGrom would start many teams’ free-agent wishlists, but for the Dodgers, there are several options that fit what the team needs better than deGrom does.
There is no denying that deGrom is the most talented pitcher on the planet, and when he is on and is healthy, he is nearly unhittable. The problem is that he has not been healthy very often, but his name and talent are going to get him a fat contract this offseason.
deGrom is a lot older than people realize as well, as he peaked later in his career. deGrom is literally two months younger than Clayton Kershaw, but the consensus around Kershaw is that he is a grizzled veteran while deGrom is in his prime. While deGrom does not have the miles that Kershaw has, he has the same injury concerns.
We see how Kershaw’s market is every year, despite him continuing to pitch at a high level. Last season, all he got from the Dodgers was a one-year, $17 million contract. deGrom will likely get much more than that, as a five-year, $200 million contract cannot be out of the picture.
In fact, deGrom will probably try and beat Max Scherzer’s record AAV and would probably shoot for an AAV of $44 million, making his five-year deal worth $220 million.
With all of the injury concerns and the fact that he is already 34, signing deGrom to that kind of contract doesn’t make the most sense for the Dodgers as a one-year fix for Walker Buehler being out.
Yes, Rodón is going to command a similar contract, but he is four years younger than deGrom and has been consistently elite the last two seasons.
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However, at the end of the day, he is still Jacob deGrom and the Dodgers still have massive pockets, so he cannot completely be ruled out.