With the Dodgers adding Clayton Kershaw back into the mix sometime in the middle of the 2024 season, their rotation is not only one of the best but one of the deepest in baseball. Factor in that Shohei Ohtani will presumably be ready to pitch again next year, and you get five decorated and deadly pitchers that will make up an absolute gauntlet for opposing batters heading into 2025.
Ohtani, Kershaw, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Walker Buehler, and Tyler Glasnow on top of Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan, and a possibly healthy Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin would make any hitter shiver at just the thought of having to make it through a series facing any combination of those pitchers.
But could the Dodgers take things even a step further and add, seemingly impossibly, to a rotation that will most likely dominate Cy Young conversations in 2025? Former Braves slugger Jeff Francoeur seems to think so. In an appearance on Foul Territory, he said that he thinks Fried might consider LA as his next stop after hitting free agency at the end of 2024.
Former Braves pitcher Jeff Francoeur thinks Max Fried come to Dodgers in 2025
Calls for an extension on Fried's Braves contract aren't new; Atlanta fans are basically champing at the bit for their team to give him the kind of years and money that, say, Bobby Witt Jr. just got from the Royals. It's clear why: Fried was dominant for the Braves in 2022, posting a 2.48 ERA over more than 185 innings and getting very close to a Cy Young on the way. Although he missed a significant amounts of time in 2023 due to recurring injuries, the bloom is very far from coming off the rose. He's had postseason troubles, but he did pitch with a blister on his throwing hand in 2023.
Fried is an LA native, and he played high school ball just 12 miles from Dodger Stadium with fellow future major leaguers Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty. The Dodgers getting Fried in free agency wouldn't be cheap, but none of the acquisitions they've made this offseason have been, either. Though it could spell the departure of other rotation pieces, getting Fried instead of having to face him in postseason scenarios in the future is clearly an ideal situation for the Dodgers.
An extension for him with the Braves isn't out of the question yet, but if nothing materializes, the Dodgers should be making some calls.