The Los Angeles Dodgers-Justin Verlander rumors were leading the pack early in the offseason. It seemed like the best fit for everybody, too. The Dodgers could get their "favorite" short-term, high AAV on the books not to affect their payroll situation for the long haul, and that's what Verlander was in line for anyway.
But then came the New York Mets and Steve Cohen, who offered two years and $86.66 million, good for the same record-setting AAV as Max Scherzer ($43.33 million). Last offseason, before Scherzer signed his three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets, the Dodgers reportedly tried to keep him on a two-year, $72 million pact. Not even close.
Turns out ... the same thing happened this time around. There was a whole lot of smoke surrounding the Dodgers and Verlander. Instead of there actually being a fire, though, some punk just turned on the fog machine and left it running.
Per MLB insider Jon Heyman via a recent column in the New York Post, "They weren’t particularly close in their bid for Justin Verlander, according to sources." And that's it. That's all the info we got.
In discussing the Trea Turner deal with the Phillies, Heyman noted the Dodgers "appear to have some real financial restraints this winter."
The Dodgers were reportedly never close on Justin Verlander. Cool stuff!
Saving up every penny for a $500 million Shohei Ohtani contract in 2024, eh? If a two-year deal for Verlander wasn't in the cards, then what is, really?
Fellow MLB insider Jon Morosi had the audacity to say on Wednesday that the Dodgers were primed to be one of two teams firmly in the Carlos Rodón sweepstakes, too! Tell us, if this contract was "too much" for the Dodgers to spend on the reigning AL Cy Young and World Series champion, then how could they have stomached something in the $160-$210 million range (over 6-7 years) for someone like Rodón, whose resume is dwarfed when compared to JV's?
This is the plan for Clayton Kershaw's potential final year in LA? The Dodgers standing by, acquiring pieces for 2024, as well as unknown commodities for 2023?
Some fans would've probably admitted they were fine with a Trea Turner/Justin Turner/Cody Bellinger combo departure, should the front office have used some of that money to help out the pitching or overall roster depth. Even if it meant second-tier options.
There's still time ... but man, this is getting more and more discouraging by the hour.