As the Los Angeles Dodgers have learned in recent years, you can never have too much pitching.
In 2013, the team had eight starting pitchers in Spring Training and still had to reach into the minors and make a trade for another starter during the season. Last year, the Dodgers saw Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm go down with season-ending injuries, causing them to make deals for Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia. As of now, the Dodgers have a full rotation, although Farhan Zaidi didn’t rule out bringing in another starter.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, manager Don Mattingly doesn’t see a reason to bring in another starter:
So think the Dodgers could use another starting pitcher? Not Don Mattingly: “I’m not looking for another one. I’m happy, I’m comfortable.”
— Steve Dilbeck (@stevedilbeck) January 15, 2015
The two biggest names left on the market are Max Scherzer and James Shields. Both have been linked to the Dodgers this winter, but the front office has never shown any real interest in the right-handers. As it stands, the rotation will be Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson. McCarthy reached 200 innings for the first time in his career last season, while Anderson hasn’t started more than 20 games since his rookie year in 2009. Buster Olney recently ranked the rotation second in all of baseball. Behind the rotation, Juan Nicasio and Joe Wieland stand as swingmen that can start if needed. In the minors, Red Patterson, Mike Bolsinger and Zach Lee could be potential starter candidates, if needed.
Scherzer and Shields are both set to sign large deals, something that may have drawn the Ddogers away. With just a month until pitchers and catchers report, the prices could come down to a level the Dodgers are willing to go, hence Zaidi’s comments. Either one of the right-handers would put the Dodgers rotation over the top.