The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost the Justin Verlander lottery to the New York Mets. Now how will the Dodgers boost their rotation … or will they at all?
SAN DIEGO — It didn’t take long on Monday for things to heat up here at the MLB Winter Meetings, with the New York Mets agreeing to a two-year, $86 million deal with starting pitcher Justin Verlander. The deal also includes a vesting third year option.
What comes next for the Los Angeles Dodgers after missing on Justin Verlander?
We now know how much Los Angeles is paying to bring Clayton Kershaw back for 2023, with FanSided’s Robert Murray reporting the one-year deal is for $20 million with a five-year signing bonus. That cements a front of the rotation that currently includes Kershaw, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May.
It’s a solid rotation, but it’s clear that the Dodgers wanted to add more to it by chasing Verlander. Part of that chase for depth was accomplished late in November when Shelby Miller was signed to an MLB deal worth $1.5 million plus bonuses. That, however, is just one piece of the equation for Los Angeles.
What’s next for the Dodgers? Could Los Angeles step up its efforts in the bidding war for Carlos Rodon or Pablo Lopez? Los Angeles reportedly discussed a potential Lopez trade with the Miami Marlins at last season’s trade deadline, but the asking price from Miami kept any trade involving the 26-year-old right-hander from happening. Now, with Miami saying they will listen to offers on anyone with the exception of NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara, the Dodgers may once again get involved with acquiring an arm from south Florida.
Rodon has already been linked to the Dodgers this offseason and certainly looks to be more of a possibility now with the Mets (another suitor for Rodon) likely out of the equation now. After a stellar season in San Francisco, Rodon is already familiar with the NL West. But would the Dodgers really give out a six-year deal?
There is also the thought from multiple people here at the MLB Winter Meetings that the Dodgers may now move away from adding a frontline starter and devote the resources that were heading to Verlander into other options, including a potential larger pursuit for high-priced free agents like Aaron Judge (a long shot, to be sure) or one of the four free agent shortstops that are topping the market.
Could a renewed interest in Trea Turner be on the horizon as the Dodgers shift their mindset?
Those resources and change in focus would allow some of the talent in the farm system to make an impact in 2023 at Chavez Ravine. Right-hander Ryan Pepiot appeared in nine games last season for the Dodgers (seven starts) and right-hander Bobby Miller is the second-ranked prospect in the Los Angeles farm system after progressing to Triple-A Oklahoma City last season. Both could be elevated to larger roles on the mound this season.
Los Angeles has multiple options for which way it could go in the wake of Justin Verlander’s decision to head to the Big Apple. With a wealth of young talent and payroll to spend, look for Plan B for the Dodgers to emerge quickly.