The Dodgers' need for a front-line starting pitcher was evident in the postseason, when they were forced to start Rangers' cast-off Vicente Padilla in an elimination game. Most speculated that acquiring a top of the rotation starter would be the first order of business for GM Ned Colletti, but according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, bringing aboard a pitcher of that caliber may be unlikely.
"There's not a long list of guys where you would say, this guy would make a dramatic difference," Colletti said of the upcoming crop of free-agent starters. "It's a thin market. There are pitchers who would make us better. But tremendously better?
"Every club needs an ace and we're not unlike any club. We might have one or two in the making [referring to Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley]. But the likelihood of an ace becoming available by trade is very slim. And this [free-agent] class doesn't have that type of allure to it."
Both Colletti and manager Joe Torre agree on the clubs biggest areas of need - starting pitching depth and second base - but reiterated that they're comfortable with the young core that's in place. Who wouldn't be comfortable with a group of young players like that?
Despite what seems to be a perpetual need for starters, the Dodgers led baseball with a 3.41 ERA in 2009, and their 3.80 FIP was good for second best behind Atlanta.