Dodgers: 3 Starting Pitchers Los Angeles Should Consider Trading For

With all of the injuries, why not?

The Dodgers are getting their starting rotation healthy. But while they wait on Tony Gonsolin to be 100 percent, they will continue to throw bullpen games to fill in the gaps. Just 2 months into a season, that could be a problem.

The Dodgers are burning through some guys in the bullpen pretty heavily early on in the season. Victor Gonzalez and Blake Treinen alone have already pitched in 21 of the 50 games. Part of that is due to a lack of healthy starters after Dustin May went down. 

And while Gonsolin is expected to be ready to go within 2 weeks, it’s still odd that the Dodgers would bet all of their money on him. It could make sense for Andrew Friedman and his team to look outside of the organization for help, especially with the uncertainty surrounding top prospect Josiah Gray.

It’s worth noting that while all of these guys could be options, Friedman will never overpay for a luxury. 

Michael Pineda

Pineda is pitching the best year of his career so far in 2021, save for that first year with the Yankees. He’s punching out close to 10 batters per 9 innings and has kept his walk rate in check. The Twins are severely underperforming at 20-29, and many wonder if they will decide to be sellers at the deadline. If they are, the Dodgers could greatly benefit from having him at the end of the rotation. Even if his fastball velocity is down. 

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Danny Duffy

Duffy is playing for the Royals who are currently 23-25 and third place in the AL Central. They’re right in that sweet spot of almost being a playoff contender and almost being a deadline seller for the moment. A lot could change over the next 2 months, but he should be available in the final year of his deal. Duffy is set to make $15.5 million in 2021, so he would be the most expensive option of the 3 guys discussed. 

He is currently on the injured list with a forearm strain, but the Royals think he avoided any serious injury. 

Tyler Anderson

Anderson signed a one-year deal this offseason with the Pirates that only pays him $2.5 million. Finally out of Colorado, Anderson is having a decent year. He’s not a top starter by any means, but he averages just over 5 innings pitched per start. He could eat up innings for the Dodgers and probably won’t cost them much. The Pirates are 18-31 and arguably already out of any sort of contention conversation. 

Dream Scenario

Max Scherzer is in the final year of a $210 million deal that will pay him almost $35 million in 2021. He’s 36-years-old, but Mad Max is still dealing and an ace in most rotations. Could the Dodgers trade for him? Sure, why not. But they won’t. It’s still fun to dream what that rotation would be capable of though. 

Dodgers Continue to Insist David Price Will Not Be Their Fifth Starter

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.


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  1. The past 2 games against the sf giants PROVE the Dodgers need a closer(s). Please Dodgers, do something with Kenley Jansen.

    • From May 1 through May 27, Kenley pitched 11 times, gave up 2 hits, gave up zero earned runs. The worst you can say about his performance lately is that he’s been wild (13K/7BB).

      Thanks for paying attention.

  2. Interesting article because it pinpointed a need the Dodgers DON’T need to address right now. The bullpen has been a mess for the past three years with the never knowing what the closer might do on a given night routine. The rest of the bullpen is weak at best and becomes weaker as Robert’’s, the master tactician yanks the starters when they’re anywhere near 100 pitches regardless how the game’s going. He’s a nice personable guy with the gift of gab, but overthinks too much IMO and not a competent field general. Torre was a horrible manager, but anybody could have won with that Yankees team. Same goes for Doc. Friedman loves rehab guys and that didn’t work out. Want to keep seeing Joe Kelly in tight games? The 102 mph straight fast ball about to get activated also not the answer.
    Secondly, the offense has been very inconsistent and underperforming for the most part. How about a right handed bat for a change?
    We have 4 top starters. They need to stay sharp or we’re toast.

  3. The Dodgers don’t need another starter. And they don’t need to throw bullpen games either. Just give the ball to Price, or Nelson when he’s healthy in a few days, and let them have real starts. Stop pulling them after 2 innings, and let them pitch. They could even go back to back to get 7 or 8 innings.

    • I concur with you Dodger 106W. Price has been a starter his whole career. Let him be the 5th starter for now, but the stubborn Roberts won’t do that so more BP to come, even though by the latter part of summer this will haunt the team. And again because of these BP games Dodgers are a position player short on the roster and we’ve already seen some poor results as Roberts has had to have a pitcher PH in key situations. The overall decision making by Roberts and the team leave a lot to be desired.

  4. Jansen is not reliable, which is something you’d like in a closer. You can always tell if he’s on or off by the first pitch he throws after coming in. If it’s a high ball out of the strike zone, buckle up, because it’s going to be a very rough ride. If he throws a strike, he’ll likely cruise. Maybe Roberts should always have two closers warming and pull Jansen after the first pitch when he goes high and wild…

  5. Things are starting to wobble. We began with the need for a fifth starter and parlayed that into still needing a 5th starter and a worn bullpen that we will have to supplement later this season. Not smart.
    Since our best looking starter in the minors came up with a shoulder impingement, we either needed to build up Price or Nelson or trade for someone who can give us 5 or 6 innings. We’re still there…trade for a starter and get Gonsolin back now since he can give us at least two innings.
    Let’s not hold out hope that Kershaw can go a full season without getting hurt, tailing off or otherwise mucking up plans. I’m saying we need a 5th starter regardless of the May/Gonsolin issues. We are also cruising for serious trouble in the bull pen. Trick is to not get our pockets picked in some trade.

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