With deep pockets and the desire to win now, the Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to be in the chase for any of Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields. The Dodgers reportedly expressed some level of interest in Lester, though not enough to entice the left-hander and he signed with the Chicago Cubs.
After the Anderson signing was made official, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the team wouldn’t pursue more starting pitching — implying the Dodgers wouldn’t be in the race to sign Scherzer or Shields. During a Wednesday appearance on MLB Network Radio, Zaidi was again asked about the right-handers who remain free agents.
While he stuck with the Dodgers’ motto of not specifically commenting on available free agents, Zaidi didn’t completely rule out adding to the starting rotation:
We don’t comment on free agents that are out there. I’ll just say we’re not closing any doors at this point. You’re never done. You’re constantly evaluating new options to improve the team and we’re still in that phase. If there’s a guy out there that we think makes us better and is available at the right price, we’ll absolutely consider it.”
There’s been little to make of the market for both Scherzer and Shields as any activity has been kept behind closed doors. One recent report had executives believing Shields would eventually sign for at least $100 million over five years, with two claiming he already held a $110 million offer.
Scherzer, at three years younger than Shields, 30 compared to 33, would likely command a similar salary if not more. Scherzer is coming off back-to-back seasons in which he won at least 18 games and pitched over 210 innings both years.
If the Dodgers are to sign Scherzer or Shields, it would not only cost the team financially, but they would also forfeit their first round pick in the upcoming 2015 Draft as both pitchers rejected the qualifying offer from their respective team prior to the free agency period beginning.