The Los Angeles Dodgers have a propensity for paying slightly more than anybody else is willing to for distressed pitching assets, getting said assets into Mark Prior's lab, then reaping rewards that far exceed the slightly elevated cost.
The Los Angeles Dodgers also have a stated goal to, uh, bring Shohei Ohtani aboard this offseason by paying him several burlap sacks' worth of money.
Luckily, their two concurrent goals -- finding bounce back pitching and adding the face of baseball -- work nicely together. Money isn't unlimited anywhere, but it's pretty close to an open spigot in Hollywood, and perhaps the two most prominent "reclamation project" arms are both hometown kids who might be willing to take a slight discount. Finding yourself is a more fun endeavor when you've got the comforts of home, after all.
So, which Harvard-Westlake baseball alum will the Dodgers choose? Jack Flaherty or Lucas Giolito? Will either be available on a one-year deal? The Dodgers'll double it. Hell, both might be nice; there's a lot of space to be filled without Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Lance Lynn, and Clayton Kershaw (for a while or forever).
Both feel obvious, but Giolito boosted his standing somewhat on Tuesday by teasing loyal Dodgers fans on Foul Territory. How's his relationship with Ohtani? Man, it sure would be cool if they signed with the same team. Wonder if there's a team out there who could make that happen? Ah, you're right. Probably just a pipe dream from a dreamer. Unless...?
Dodgers target Lucas Giolito wants to share spotlight, roster with Shohei Ohtani
Meanwhile, the Angels are sitting here stewing like, ".........We did that." Ohtani and Giolito shared the locker room in the month of August last season before LAA tore everything down and ignited a waiver wire frenzy.
Flaherty, Giolito and Max Fried were all teammates at the same Los Angeles high school, once upon a time. Somehow, the two Harvard-Westlake baseball stars who are currently free agents might've both had worse Augusts than Ohtani, who watched his pitching career get torn out from under him.
Giolito finished the season with 204 strikeouts in 184.1 innings, but posted a 7.24 ERA in the month of August while watching his progress dissolve. Flaherty? His season ERA climbed to 4.99 thanks in part to a 6.41 mark in Baltimore as summer turned to fall.
Everybody wants to play with Ohtani, but these lucky two Hollywood kids actually have a shot at it. Hopefully, all three can put their Augusts behind them and regroup with the most stable franchise in baseball.