Aroldis Chapman has had quite the strange career to this point. Despite the fact that he's had the most dominant fastball in the majors since he debuted way back in 2010 and has made seven All-Star teams, he's often overlooked. Chapman even had to settle for a one-year deal with the Royals in 2023 thanks to his waning command and an acrimonious end to his time with the Yankees.
While the guy is coming off another very good season where he put up a 3.06 ERA and continued to strike out batters at an elite clip, the Dodgers need to stay away. LA has already had more than enough drama to deal with in recent years to risk potentially inviting more with Chapman. On top of that, his walk rate has been truly dreadful the last three seasons. With all of those innings on his arm, the way he throws, and how he's trending, the Dodgers need to avoid giving him what is likely to be a a decent sum of money for 2024.
Finally, we come to another bullpen arm that the Dodgers need to avoid in Adam Ottavino. When Ottavino's sweeper is on, the guy is unhittable. One of the few pitchers that actually played well with most of his games coming at Coors Field, Ottavino has put together an underrated career with a 3.42 ERA with 789 strikeouts in 687 innings of work across 13 seasons. Again, the guy has been really good, including this past season with the Mets.
There are some troubling trends with Ottavino, though. In addition to the fact he's about to turn 38 years old, his fastball has gone from a mid-90s offering as recently as 2022 to averaging 92-93 MPH in 2023. His sweeper, the pitch that basically made his career, has seen its spin rate steadily decline in recent years as well. It isn't that surprising to see an older guy's stuff decline as time goes on, but that, combined with fairly consistent issues with walks going back to 2017, is a recipe for heartache unless he's looking to sign for cheap.