MLB Rumors: 3 moves Dodgers must make to fortify rotation around Shohei Ohtani

With Shohei Ohtani officially signed, the Dodgers must now turn their attention to improving their starting rotation.
Sep 30, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) in the
Sep 30, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) in the / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

What makes Shohei Ohtani a $700 million player is not only his ability to hit at an elite level, but he's an ace when healthy. The Los Angeles Dodgers got themselves a player whose skillset we may never see again. Ohtani is that special.

Unfortunately, Ohtani will not be fully healthy when the 2024 season begins. In fact, he's going to miss the entire season on the mound after recovering from his elbow injury. Dodgers fans can still watch him hit every night, but they won't get to experience Ohtani on the mound until 2025. They can be patient, but Ohtani's inability to help on the bump in 2024 is a big issue for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers rotation was a huge reason why they went home in the NLDS last season, and has yet to be addressed. They have Walker Buehler coming back which is a massive addition. They also have Bobby Miller and even Ryan Pepiot who showed flashes in their rookie years. That's about it. The Dodgers need to add multiple starting pitchers, preferably multiple frontline starters, to really get their rotation where it needs to be. The Dodgers making any combination of these moves can make them even heavier favorites entering the 2024 season.

3. The Dodgers can upset everyone and sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto

With Ohtani deferring most of his contract for 2034 and beyond, the Dodgers have themselves a whole lot of money to play with. Using that money to sign the best available free agent, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, will be upsetting for each of the 29 other fanbases.

It feels like every big market team is hedging their offseason on whether Yamamoto comes or not except for the Dodgers, yet Los Angeles could really use him. The right-hander has established himself as the top pitcher in Japan thanks to his three straight Sawamura Awards and seems to be ready to produce like a frontline starter. His hefty price tag will surely come with those expectations.

At just 25 years old it's easy to see why half the league appears to be in on him. It's hard enough to acquire a 25-year-old ace at all, let alone one that will only cost money. He grew up a Dodgers fan, so it's just up to them to give him the amount of money necessary to get him to sign.