For much of the offseason, the Dodgers have been linked to a few targets more than others: Bryce Harper. JT Realmuto. And Corey Kluber.

No doubt that any of those players would make the team better in some capacity, but the point of this article is simple…

This is about why the Dodgers will be fine without Corey Kluber.

Depth in the rotation

The rotation is still headed by Clayton Kershaw and Walker BuehlerThat leaves us with a hungry semi-former ace, and the best number 2 in the business — I dare you to @ me.

The middle of the rotation is anchored by Hyun-Jin Ryu — who did start game one of the postseason last year, by the way — and potential new team dad Rich Hill.

The back end of the rotation is flush with options like Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, and long shots for the opening day roster like Julio Urias and Dennis Santana. I still feel that they want Caleb Ferguson to start, so he’ll be only a flight from OKC away.

Plus, this is finally the year that we see top prospect Dustin May, or maybe even “freshly added to the 40-man roster” Yadier Alvarez.

Overpaying for sentiment

I don’t like trading for another team’s franchise icon because you have to pay more to get them. The “sentimental tax.”

After trading Kemp and, more importantly, Puig, the path became clear for Alex Verdugo to finally get his shot to stay in the big leagues. With that said, I’m not comfortable trading away Verdugo now. After seasons of surplus in the outfield, it’s finally starting to look a little thin. Your first baseman is playing center field, your backup outfielders are natural infielders (Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez). In short, Verdugo cannot go anywhere.

Summary

You can’t make a trade from a thinning area to add to an area of depth, even if it’s for an ace. At this point in time, focus on shoring up the depleted catching depth.

Analyzing Catcher Options for 2019 – An Update