Another popular name at the trade deadline, or at least a name that was talked about a lot, was Jack Flaherty, who looked like he was on the path to being one of the league's next big stars on the mound back in 2019 with the Cardinals. He had live stuff, didn't walk a ton of batters, and boasted a 2.75 ERA with a top-four Cy Young finish.
The problem is that was the last season we saw Flaherty both healthy and good. Ever since he has battled injuries, and when he's been on the mound, the results have been mediocre to bad. From 2020 to 2023, he averaged a 4.42 ERA and 4.36 FIP with the results getting progressively worse over time. There's going to be some team that will pay Flaherty in the hope that they can fix him, but LA shouldn't be in the market for a massive reclamation project.
For a guy in his mid-30s and has as many miles on his arm as he does, Craig Kimbrel has continued to produce at a high level. He just made his ninth All-Star team and put up a 3.26 ERA while striking out opposing batters at a 12.3 K/9 clip. He may not be the same guy he was a decade ago, but he can definitely still pitch (even though it's agonizing at times).
The issue with signing Kimbrel is the opportunity cost along with the associated risk in paying up for a 35-year-old reliever. Kimbrel made $10 million last year and odds are that he's going to ask for around that much for the 2024 season as well. With Father Time lurking right behind him and the inherent volatility with bullpen arms in general. the Dodgers just need to spread their money around a bit more to fill out their bullpen instead of hoping that Kimbrel can run it back one more time.
They already had the Kimbrel experience in 2022. Can't let it happen again.