With Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw becoming free agents later this week, and the future of the Trevor Bauer a mystery, the Dodgers are likely in the market for starting pitching. The Dodgers have holes to fill. This speculation is not a preclusion of a return of Kershaw or Scherzer, but right now the only healthy starters the Dodgers have are Julio Urias and Walker Buehler.
LA Times beat writer Jorge Castillo had a suggestion.
A Stroman Argument
Right-hander Marcus Stroman made 33 starts for the New York Mets in 2021, going 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA over 179 innings. Castillo had this to say about Stroman.
What Stroman lacks in durability — he averaged 5-1/3 innings in 33 starts for the New York Mets this year — he makes up for in performance. … [His] four-pitch mix consists of a 92-mph fastball, 85.5-mph slider, 90.4-mph cut fastball, and 86-mph changeup.
Someone who could eat innings like Stroman is a good choice. He doesn't have the elite numbers of a Scherzer or Buehler, but he is a solid 3rd starter, whose previous numbers suggest he could be a number 2 starter. He’s made 30+ starts in four of his last five full seasons. The only difficulty is the price. Rumors are that Stroman is looking for $25 million, which is only slightly under the Scherzer range.
What's the Plan, Then?
Dodgers front office president Andrew Friendman has regularly suggested that the Dodgers will pull from their young arms, but Dustin May isn't slated to return until midseason, and Tony Gonsolin has not been terribly reliable.
The Dodgers can't afford to be cheap, though. The Giants proved they are not a fluke, especially with their pitching. The Padres have shown they're willing to sell the farm and spend what is necessary for starting pitching. The Dodgers have the money, now they are just going to be smart in how they spend it--but they should spend it.