Dodgers miss out on Verlander; what’s next?

Justin Verlander's decision to sign with the New York Mets leaves the Dodgers searching for other options.

Justin Verlander sure picked an inconvenient time to choose his next team. Just as I was finishing up a lengthy article discussing all of the pros and cons of the Dodgers signing the Cy Young winner, he decided to sign with the Mets.

I was literally proof reading it to make sure it was good to go when I got the notification. Article deleted.

Well, I guess that means I can start a new article! Thanks, Justin.

So, with the Dodgers missing out on Verlander, who do they turn to next?

Since you’ll never get to see the Verlander piece, allow me to give a quick recap. I was on board with the Dodgers signing him, but not for three years. I knew he’d never do it, but the only way I would have wanted Verlander was for a one-year deal. Seeing he got potentially three years with the Mets while earning $43 million a year, I’m glad the Dodgers passed.

With Verlander now out of the equation, the Dodgers will have to turn their attention to other free agents. As of right now, their rotation consists of Urias, Kershaw, May and Gonsolin. Not awful by any means, but you certainly will want to add some depth.

Here’s a list of the top starting pitchers that are still on the market.

Carlos Rodon

Noah Syndergaard

Nathan Eovaldi

Sean Manaea

Mike Minor

Chris Bassitt

Andrew Heaney

Some intriguing names there, but not great overall!

Obviously the top name is Carlos Rodon. He’s finished top six in Cy Young voting each of the last two seasons. In 55 starts since 2021, Rodon has posted a 2.67 ERA, 2.42 FIP, 0.998 WHIP and 157 ERA+. All of those numbers are near the top of the leaderboard among all starters in baseball.

He’s also one of the top strike throwers in the big leagues as well. Rodon has struck out 422 hitters over his last 310.2 innings (12.2 SO/9). He led all starters last season, averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

I’d love for the Dodgers to sign him and think he’d be a great addition to the starting rotation. With that being said, there are reports he’s seeking a six-year contract worth at least $30 million a season. I’m not sure how on board with that I’d be.

Outside of him? Well, I’m not really sure. Maybe they opt for a reunion with Andrew Heaney who was excellent for LA in 2022. There are also some other names who could excel the way Heaney or Tyler Anderson did last season.

Maybe they get creative with a trade and acquire a starter that we’re not even discussing. Whatever the plan is, the Dodgers still desperately need to sign somebody. I get that they have some solid minor league options, but you don’t want to rely on those names quite yet.

If I’m the Dodgers, I’m signing at least one more name, most likely two. Rodon would be the best solution, along with another one of those names as an option as well. Either way, this starting rotation still needs a lot of work and I think it should be their top priority at this point.

What will happen? Let’s just sit back and find out!

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