3 Pitchers Dodgers Could Acquire to Boost Staff

After two days of meetings, no one really knows if we are inching closer to ending the MLB lockout, which has been going on since December. The possibility of MLB canceling games now seems like a higher possibility. As a fan, it is starting to get a bit concerning to complete a full regular season.

There are many big-name free agents out there, so teams will need a good period of time to negotiate and improve their rosters.

The Dodgers are one of those teams, as they’ve lost a number of key free agents and still have many remaining.

One area in which there are a lot of questions is the starting pitching, which looked to be a strength at the beginning of the 2021 season. The Dodgers starting rotation currently looks like Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urias with newly signed left-hander Andrew Heaney looking like he can also be part of it.

Right-hander Dustin May figures to be back from Tommy John surgery sometime during the season, and there are many questions as to whether Trevor Bauer will even pitch on a major league mound again. The Dodgers already lost Max Scherzer and could possibly still lose Clayton Kershaw, so we’ll take a look and some trades the Dodgers could conceivably swing.

Luis Castillo

Castillo has probably been the pitcher most talked about in the trade market. The 29-year-old right-hander was an All-Star back in 2019. Throughout five seasons with the Reds he owns a 3.72 ERA and his strikeout stuff is amazing, as he has registered 770 strikeouts.

In 2021, he posted a 3.98 ERA, with a record of 8-16. This year you may remember that Castilo started against the Dodgers and had 10 strikeouts in 6 ⅓ innings. The Reds asking price may be too high for the Dodgers to consider, but Castillo would be a nice addition to the Dodgers rotation.

Frankie Montas

Montas has already spent time in the Dodger organization from 2015 to 2016, as he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in the deal that brought Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to Los Angeles. The 28-year-old right-hander finished the 2021 campaign with a 13-9 record and a 3.37 ERA along with 207 strikeouts. He finished sixth in American Cy Young voting.

There have been many rumors that Oakland may trade away some of their pieces such as Matt Olson and Montas. The Dodgers and Montas have been linked for a bit and Oakland and LA could swing another trade.

After he struggled with a 5.60 ERA in the 2020 season he turned it around to have a great 2021 campaign. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Athletics including the direction they want to move forward in and whether they relocate to Las Vegas.

John Means

The 28-year-old left-hander enjoyed a great 2021 campaign, one of the few bright spots they had in Baltimore. He pitched a no-hitter this year, and only allowed one runner on a dropped third strike. Means was an All-Star back in 2019.

He missed some time due to injuries in 2021 and ended with a 3.62 ERA in 146 ⅔ innings. Throughout his career, he has had a 3.82 ERA over four seasons and 63 starts. The Orioles the past couple of years has been the bottom feeders of the MLB, so they may want to grab more prospects as they continue their rebuild.

Those are just some of the pitchers that could be on the trade market that could help the Dodgers. Certainly, there could be plenty I missed. Nevertheless, I am eager to see what the front office does before the beginning of the season—if it ever gets started.

Will Dodgers Pursue a Contract With Kenley Jansen When Lockout Ends?

While the lockout has still frozen all big-league transactions, many of us continue to speculate how the Dodgers will fill out their active roster when the players and the owners reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

Two of the team’s biggest roster needs right now seem to be the starting rotation and the bullpen. We still no nothing about the future of Trevor Bauer, and there hasn’t been much reporting about Clayton Kershaw, specifically regarding his recovery from an elbow injury that ended his season prematurely last year.

On the bullpen front, there may be a chance the club is without the services of Kenley Jansen for the first time in 13 years. At the beginning of December, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Jansen, the franchise’s all-time saves leader, is not expected to return.” However, aside from the speculation, there hasn’t been much to support those claims so far.

There’s no question Kenley will garner serious consideration across the league when player signings resume. In the days leading up to the lockout, we heard teams like the Phillies, Blue Jays, Cardinals and even the Astros having interest. Nevertheless, at age 34, it’s tough to tell just how much Kenley might have left in the tank.

After having a bit of a roller-coaster first half in 2021, Jansen settled down to post a 2.22 ERA over an even 69 innings of work, which was the first season he registered a sub-3.00 ERA since 2017. In addition, his 1.043 WHIP last year was his lowest since his 2018 campaign.

Still, for as much as Kenley goes through with criticism in Los Angeles, it wouldn’t be surprising if he lands elsewhere. If you’re a fan of the Dodgers, either you like Kenley or you don’t. It’s not uncommon to hear boos in the Los Angeles bleachers when he has a bad outing, despite being one of the most successful closers in franchise history.

In a recent fan poll conducted by our friends over at MLB Trade Rumors, the results far and away show Kenley remaining with the Dodgers.

Jansen is coming off a five-year, $80 million deal with the Dodgers that ended with him making $20 million of that total last season. Of course, he won’t land anywhere near the $20 million in his new deal, but a sum between $10-15 million for two years is definitely realistic. Last year, Jansen’s 69 regular season appearances were tied for 12th in the National League.

Coincidentally, Blake Treinen’s 72 appearances were good enough for first on the club and fifth-best on the senior circuit.

Heading into the 2022 season, Treinen has one more year left on his deal, and there’s no question he’ll be the frontrunner for the closer’s role if Jansen lands elsewhere. As we already know, Corey Knebel signed with the Phillies, leaving the door open for pitchers like Brusdar Graterol, Phil Bickford and Alex Vesia to throw in closing situations. Re-emerging seasons from Victor Gonzalez and Daniel Hudson are also not off the table.

Whatever the case may be, it will be interesting to see where Jansen lands and whether Castillo’s insider information was accurate. If Kenley signs elsewhere, it will no doubt be odd seeing him throw in a different uniform in the twilight years of his career.

Latest Lockout Updates, Other Dodgers Notes

We are almost through January and we are still in a lockout. Nothing has been moving — so with no news, it has been hard to know where both sides potentially stand.

Rumors have surrounded the Dodgers regarding players, coaches, and front offices members. The Dodgers have added some pieces to the front office recently with the appointment of Brandon Gomes to general manager.

The Dodgers also have some minor league personnel and roster moves, as well as digging into the international market.

Baseball Prospectus has released their Top 101 prospects, and four Dodger prospects are included in it. They also released the Top 10 Dodgers prospects list.

Baseball Prospectus had 22-year-old Miguel Vargas as the No. 1 ranked Dodger prospect while Baseball America had 20-year-old catcher Diego Cartaya. Pitcher Bobby Miller came in at third, outfielder Andy Pages fourth and Ryan Pepiot was fifth.

The Dodgers have been known now for a while as one of the deeper farm systems in baseball, and it appears it will be so for the next couple of years as well.

In other news, old friend Yasiel Puig expressed interest in a return to play for Los Angeles. He has been playing overseas for the past two years, and in a recent interview said he won’t mind coming back to Los Angeles.

Now before you Wild Horse fans get excited, it is very unlikely this happens. The Dodgers do not really need outfielders at the moment, and Puig hasn’t faced MLB pitching in two years. While some fans may want him back for nostalgic reasons, it’s just unlikely.

It feels like Puig and the Dodgers have definitely completed their chapter; so personally, I see this chapter has run its course.

Other than this, as you all know, MLB has been quiet, as the two sides are set to meet again this Monday to further negotiations as Spring Training is now only several weeks away.

Once the lockout ends, there are still plenty of free agents the Dodgers could sign or possibly even swing a trade. It will be interesting to see what approach the team takes, as there only may be a limited time to sign any players before the beginning of a season.

It will be exciting to see how the new additions to the front office handle the free agency period post-lockout once things finally get rolling.

Lockout Update, Plus Other Dodger Notes

Thursday marked the first time the Players Union and the MLB owners discussed anything about the lockout, although it looks like there is still quite a bit of leg work to do.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: What Lies Ahead for Michael Busch?

So far this winter, most of our prospect talk has surrounded pitching and catching, which always seems to make up the higher rankings of the Dodgers’ farm. However, with Corey Seager now out of the shortstop picture, some of the emphasis could switch to the middle infield spots, if things ever get rolling again roster-wise.

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Dodgers’ Resolutions for the New Year

We have made it to the end of this crazy year, baseball and non baseball involved.

I hope that 2022 brings us better baseball and more prosperity overall.

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Dodgers, Cody Bellinger Reach Deal to Avoid Arbitration

Happy Holidays everyone! We are in the middle of winter, and baseball has essentially taken a pause.

Out of the blue yesterday, Jeff Passan from ESPN reported that the Dodgers and Cody Bellinger had agreed to a one year $17 million contract to avoid arbitration before the original Dec. 1 lockout date.

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Random Thoughts on Dodgers’ Starting Rotation, 40-Man Roster and Free Agent Market

If there’s one thing the MLB stoppage has provided fans with so far this winter, it’s the freedom to let their minds run wild with imagination. With the absence of any legitimate rumors of trades or signings, hypothetical acquisitions have been running wild in the baseball blogosphere. If the CBA resolution arrives later than sooner, fans could witness a mad frenzy of signings like no other before.

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How Should Dodgers Handle a Prospective Clayton Kershaw Deal?

The MLB lockdown is still intact and has really deprived much of the baseball content. It looks like there has not been any movement, and it doesn’t seem like there will be anytime soon.

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Dodgers Holiday Wishlist

Since we are in the holiday season, and the MLB lock out has deprived us of much baseball content, we are going to take a look at a Dodgers wishlist.

Of course, this is all hypothetical since the lockout impedes any big league roster moves, but in a perfect world there is no lockout.

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