Dodgers avoided offseason disaster by holding off on rumored Gavin Stone trades

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago White Sox / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

No one could've predicted how good a season Gavin Stone has ended up having for the Dodgers. He went up and down a few times last year; his first few starts were disastrous, and his relief appearances weren't much better. He was their No. 5 prospect in 2023, so the Dodgers were never just going to get rid of him after only 31 innings of major league work, but there was a very good chance he'd end up back in the minors to start the season.

We know how the rest of that story goes, though, so we can fast forward to the end of June. Stone threw his first complete game shutout on the 26th, only gave up four hits, and struck out nine batters, dropping his ERA from an already good 3.04 to an even better 2.73 and solidifying himself as the Dodgers' No. 2 guy without Yoshinobu Yamamoto (but maybe even with him?).

Following the feat, Bob Nightengale revealed that Stone had been of interest to "several teams" over the offseason, but the Dodgers decided to stick with their guy and keep him in LA.

Bob Nightengale reports "several teams" were interested in Dodgers' Gavin Stone over the offseason

Jim Bowden, answering mailbag questions for The Athletic on July 3, was asked if the Dodgers had been asked about Stone, Landon Knack, and Bobby Miller during this trade deadline season, to which Bowden replied, "Absolutely. They’ve been asking for all three over the past couple of years and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Brandon Gomes have maintained the same answer: 'No.'"

That isn't altogether surprising, but it is reassuring. The Dodgers have a lot of money but are also giving a lot of money to big stars on big contracts. Their homegrown guys like Stone, Knack, and Miller, all years away from arbitration eligibility, will be essential towards cutting costs where they can. Stone threw a complete game shutout for the league minimum, while James Paxton struggles to stretch himself through six for $11 million.

The Dodgers would be making a colossal mistake if they traded Stone unless it for an absolutely unbelieveable return (which most other teams don't actually have the means to send). He'll be a Dodger for the foreseeable future, and the currently limping rotation will be much better off for it.