The Los Angeles Dodgers have made the playoffs 10 years in a row and at the heart of the team's current run has always been great starting pitching. Whether it be elite arms like Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias, or standout surprises like Ross Stripling and Tyler Anderson, Los Angeles has showcased a lot of quality starting pitching.
After losing Anderson and Andrew Heaney this offseason, Andrew Friedman and co. set off to find the team's next reclamation project. With the team potentially backed into a financial corner thanks to Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles had to find a quality starting pitcher to round out the rotation for cheap.
The Dodgers found their arm to round out the rotation on Wednesday, as the team signed former all-star right-hander, Noah Syndergaard. Like with Anderson and Heaney, Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the team.
After missing the 2020 season and only making two starts in 2021, the 2022 season was meant to be a comeback season for Syndergaard. Thor — as he has been nicknamed — was decent in 2022 but was far from special. If there is any team for him to return to form on, it is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Noah Syndergaard is a very smart low-risk, high-reward flier by the Dodgers.
Regardless of how you feel about the Dodgers' offseason activities (or lack thereof) thus far, it does not change the fact that this is a great signing by the Dodgers. At this point, fans simply have to trust in Friedman's scouting and the coaching staff's ability to get the most out of a player.
Los Angeles turned a journeyman southpaw who was meant to be a long-relief pitcher into an all-star last season. Syndergaard has already been elite before. The Dodgers are the perfect team to potentially get Syndergaard back to his 2015-2018 form.
And if it does not work out for the Dodgers they will be just fine. They already have Urias, Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May in the starting rotation. They also have promising prospects ready to make an impact such as Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller.
The Dodgers are just asking Syndergaard to be a decent five-man in the rotation. If he pitches exactly like he did last season then he will be a serviceable option. If he is even better then it would be gravy for LA. If he is worse then the team has several options that are big-league-ready to replace him.
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It might not be Carlos Rodon and it is sad that it is the biggest signing thus far of the offseason but that does not change the fact that this is a smart flier by the team.