Despite Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s and general manager Farhan Zaidi’s best efforts during the offseason to bolster the starting rotation, it’s quickly emerged as the club’s Achilles heel.
Season-ending injuries to Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu stripped the Dodgers of two-fifths of the starting rotation and left the team in need of reinforcements. With Mike Bolsinger’s success tailing off over his recent outings and Carlos Frias now on the disabled list with lower back tightness, the Dodgers’ need for starting pitching has been magnified.
With the trade deadline just over three weeks away, Zaidi said finding a pitcher to acquire has been made difficult given tight races across the divisions, via Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA:
I think one of the issues we’ve run into is the race is pretty tight, particularly the Wild Card races in both leagues. There’s a limited number of sellers and I think that has affected our ability to move as quickly as maybe we would have liked to add some depth starting pitching-wise. We’re continuing to be out there, obviously with Carlos going on [the DL], we’re going to have to bridge the gap a little these next couple weeks before the break.”
Clay Buccholz and Jeff Samardzija have been linked to the Dodgers over the last few weeks, though no potential deal has seemingly come close to be being completed. Additionally, the Dodgers were said to also have interest in New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese.
While the three aforementioned pitchers would help stabilize the Dodgers rotation, each is in the final year of their contracts. That could both work in favor of the Dodgers and against them. On the one hand, trading for a rental presumably wouldn’t require Los Angeles to part ways with elite prospects. However, the rotation would again be an issue at the conclusion of the season.