“Considering trading for a starter” Dodgers in a state of emergency, throwing down the gauntlet for a Cy Young-caliber starter

Los Angeles Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman recently publicly stated in an interview with local media that the team “could consider trading a starter.”

Of course, he prefaced that statement with a commitment to fixing the problem. The first priority is to adjust the internal players and utilize internal resources. But given the Dodgers’ recent history, it’s not unreasonable to expect them to eventually hit the trade market. They’re hurting, and they’re not performing well. But the team is playing well. They can’t afford to give up on the season, they’re in position to win the World Series again, and they need new players to do so.

As of Sept. 29, the Dodgers are 32-22 (.593) and in first place in the National League West. For a team that has been devalued for its lack of offense, the Dodgers are getting a lot of praise for their dominance. In the National League as a whole, they’re tied for first place with Atlanta. The problem is, the mound is shaky. It certainly doesn’t have the consistency of the last two or three years.

In 2022, the Dodgers had a team ERA of 2.80, the best among the 30 major league clubs. Their starting ERA was 2.75, again tops in the majors, and their bullpen was 2.87, second only to Houston (2.80). This year, things are different. The team ERA is 4.50, 22nd in the league.

The bullpen ERA is 4.59, which is 24th in the league, and the starting ERA is 4.44, which is also up significantly from last year. The faltering starting rotation is a huge concern for the Dodgers, as it’s the most important part of a long-term race. The Dodgers know better than anyone that they can’t challenge for the World Series with this kind of performance.

Walker Buehler’s return from elbow surgery is still a long way off, and Julio Urias (4.39 ERA), who was supposed to be the ace, has been embarrassingly bad. Add to that the loss of Dustin May (2.63), who was pitching relatively well, to an elbow injury and he’s out of the rotation for the foreseeable future. Tony Gonsolos (1.82) and Clayton Kershaw (3.32) are pitching well enough, but Noah Syndergaard (6.27), who signed a one-year deal this year, is now pitching so poorly that you have to worry about the starting rotation itself.

With the uneven performance of the newcomers, New York Post columnist and major league source John Heyman believes that players in the 메이저놀이터 American League and National League Central could be on the trade market for starting pitching. In fact, if the Dodgers decide to make a run this year and acquire starting pitching to carry them through the second half, something could happen in the Central.

There are plenty of big names. Dylan Seager (28, Chicago White Sox), who finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting last year; Lucas Giolito (29, Chicago White Sox), who is a free agent after this season; Corbin Burns (29, Milwaukee) and Shane Bieber (28, Cleveland), who are also Cy Young Award winners and will be free agents after next season; and Eduardo Rodriguez (30, Detroit), who has rebounded this year, are among the players Heyman believes could be on the trade market.

The Chicago White Sox are having a subpar season again this year, and there is speculation that they will begin to sell off their core and build a new mold. It’s hard to imagine them putting Seager on the trade market right now, but if they did, he could attract interest from several teams. He’s struggled a bit this year, but he has solid stuff. He won 14 games in 32 starts last year, and he’s not eligible for free agency until after the 2025 season, so he has plenty of service time left. The downside is that he’s going to be a big prospect spend.

Giolito, who is also nearing free agency and is on the same team that won’t be spending much on prospects, could be an alternative. Giolito isn’t one of the top pitchers in the league, but he has a good reputation when he pitches well. Plus, he’s only a half-season rental, so the risk isn’t too high. Rodriguez, who has been a surprise this year, is under contract through 2026 and will make around $15.4 million per year. He’s worth considering if you’re looking for the long haul.

Bieber, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner, is one of the few pitchers in the league who is consistently good. This year, he’s still putting up decent numbers, going 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 11 starts. Burns, the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner who had a major fight with Milwaukee during last year’s salary arbitration, has come out of his early season slump. Milwaukee doesn’t have the money to acquire Burns and could put him on the trade block like they did with Josh Hader (San Diego).

For the Dodgers, trading for a starter would require a number of considerations. Urias is eligible for free agency after this season, and they’re looking to add Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels). There’s the team situation, the financial calculation, and how to utilize the young pitchers. Acquiring Burns and Bieber would require a year-and-a-half commitment, and it would cost the team valuable prospects. I wonder how the Dodgers calculate this.

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