5 free agents the Dodgers can steal from their NL West foes

The Dodgers should be looking to not only sign big names this offseason, but to make their division rivals regret their life choices along the way.
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Michael Wacha

The final former Padres player here is another rotation arm, but one that isn't being talked about enough: Michael Wacha. Wacha's career was off to an amazing start with the Cardinals back in 2013-2015 when he logged 3.21 ERA over the span and made the All-Star team in 2015. Unfortunately, a series of nagging shoulder injuries cost him playing time, and the next several years yielded mediocre to crummy output.

That all changed in 2022 when Wacha bounced back with the Red Sox, and he continued his comeback tour with San Diego last season when he posted a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts. He doesn't throw hard and it would be nice if he kept the ball on the ground more, but his fastball and off-speed stuff still grade out very well on his Statcast page and he's really hard to square up.

Wacha doesn't come without some warts. In addition to his velo not being ideal, he really needs to stop trying to throw his cutter to lefties (they have a .469 wOBA against the pitch) and his whiff rate is only average at this point. Wacha's ability to withstand a full season's workload is an open question, and the 134.1 innings he logged last year is the most he has thrown since 2017.

While Wacha shouldn't be the centerpiece of the Dodgers offseason by any stretch of the imagination, he would be a fine complementary signing in a world where the Dodgers land a marquee name or two. His durability concerns and age will likely force him to take a one-year deal or a cheap-ish two-year contract at best. As a No. 4 or 5 starter, LA could do a hell of a lot worse that that.