The Dodgers shocked the world when they signed Shohei Ohtani to a record 10-year, $700 million contract. Even after Ohtani was rumored to join the Blue Jays at the 11th hour, LA's appeals to Ohtani turned out to be enough to persuade the superstar ostensibly finish his career with the Dodgers.
The signing of the two-time AL MVP and three-time All-Star was one of the most anticipated free agency decisions in major sports history, and Ohtani's extremely team-friendly contract reaffirmed his commitment to winning.
Ohtani going to the Dodgers now has LA as the odds-on favorites to win the World Series in 2024. But as all baseball fans know, pitching wins in the postseason. Ohtani's injury recovery timeline will prohibit him from taking the mound for the Dodgers in 2024, but he's expected to return to pitching in 2025.
While the Dodgers may be favored to win the World Series, they still have some holes to fill around the edges of the roster before they can truly be ready to make a run.
3 remaining team needs for the Dodgers after signing Shohei Ohtani
This team need is beyond obvious because, well, every team could always use another pitcher or two or three. Injuries happen, and even rotations that seem unstoppable at the beginning of the season have a chance of falling apart before (or during) the playoffs. It's a long season, and then you throw in pitching on short rest when the games get even more important. But, in the Dodgers' case, after a postseason exit where their starting pitchers combined to allow 13 earned runs in 4.2 innings, the need for more starting pitching in LA has never been bigger.
The good news for the Dodgers is that there are many appealing options on the trade market and in free agency. Tyler Glasnow might be injury prone, but the Dodgers chose to take the risk and add an extension to their trade package for him, comfortable with Ohtani returning to the rotation in 2025 to mitigate risk somewhat. Despite adding one top-tier name, the Dodgers probably should not be done, and could turn to the White Sox and Brewers to more aggressively discuss Dylan Cease and Corbin Burnes.
If nothing works out on the trade market, however, the Dodgers still have other options. Japanese superstar free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto met with the Dodgers recently, and could be even more likely to join LA as the deferrals in Ohtani's contract have given the Dodgers more financial flexibility. If Yamamoto's asking price is still too high, Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell are also attractive (but expensive options) on the market. Michael Wacha, Michael Lorenzen, and Lucas Giolito are a few examples of options that the Dodgers could look at to solidify the rotation that would definitely be less expensive than Yamamoto, Snell and Montgomery. Regardless of who LA signs, getting multiple pitchers to utilize in the rotation with Walker Buehler and Bobby Miller is essential.