Should Dodgers Look Into Signing Free Agent Starter?

Roughly one month ago, the Dodgers appeared to have a surplus of starting pitching.  There were more than a handful of hurlers who were making a strong case for the fifth spot in the rotation.  Carlos Monasterios, Charlie Haeger, Josh Lindblom, Ramon Ortiz, Eric Stults, and Russ Ortiz were all impressive during Spring Training.  There were so many candidates to choose from that the Dodgers sold Stults' contract to a Japanese team.  My, how things have changed.

Russ Ortiz was DFA'd after floundering in seven big league innings.  Haeger hasn't found much success in 15.1 IP (three starts and one relief appearance) either.  Now, the Dodgers have another hole to fill as Padilla is headed to the disabled list with a sore elbow.  There are pitchers at the ready in Triple-A Albuquerque, including the aforementioned Lindblom and once-ballyhooed James McDonald, though all have their fair share of question marks.  Padilla's injury aside, the Dodgers' starting five still looks like it could use a lift.

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times drops the names of three notable starters still available on the open market: Jarrod Washburn, John Smoltz, and Pedro Martinez.  Washburn seems to be holding out for a deal approaching the $5MM he was offered by Minnesota this winter.  Smoltz won't completely rule out a return to baseball, though he's enjoying his television gigs.  Pedro is reportedly maintaining contact with the Phillies, though he is said to still hold a grudge against the Dodgers over things that happened back when jheri curls were still somewhat in vogue.

Should the cash-strapped Dodgers look into signing one of these vets or should they find other ways to improve?


38 Responses to Should Dodgers Look Into Signing Free Agent Starter? Leave a Reply

  1. Nicolas_C 5 years ago

    I think they should give Braden Looper a shot. He’s at least an innings eater.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      we had him in Russ Ortiz, no thanks

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      we had him in Russ Ortiz, no thanks

  2. All these guys require time to get ready so they can join the rotation–probably more time than it would take for Padilla to return from the DL…

  3. bomberj11 5 years ago

    What does Washburn want? If he wants to win he should tag onto the Dodgers.

  4. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Washburn seems like a good fit. Get his price tag down to under $3m and make the deal. He’d do well in that ballpark – as long as he can keep batters from hitting it to left.

  5. PaulGargano 5 years ago

    Dodgers are too cheap to sign any of those guys – if they wanted to, they’d have done it in the off-season. They’ll promote from within, get half-ass starts, tire their bullpen, and and keep talking about how great their minor league pitching depth is… While in reality they have “developed” Bills, who is as inconsistent as they come, Kershaw who can’t make it past the fifth, and Elbert who they don’t trust enough to give a chance – maybe it’s time to start looking at new pitching coaches.

  6. jwredsox 5 years ago

    Is it really pitching depth when all the options stink?

  7. jwredsox 5 years ago

    Is it really pitching depth when all the options stink?

  8. mylan 5 years ago

    unfortunately, McCourt and Ned are too damn cheap to get any of these guys for a contract. But to me i wish they would sign washburn or atleast martinez. too me smoltz is just too old for the spot. but got how i would give anything for a signing of one of those too.

  9. mylan 5 years ago

    unfortunately, McCourt and Ned are too damn cheap to get any of these guys for a contract. But to me i wish they would sign washburn or atleast martinez. too me smoltz is just too old for the spot. but got how i would give anything for a signing of one of those too.

  10. Torgos_Executive_Powder 5 years ago

    “Smoltz won’t completely rule out a return to baseball, though he’s enjoying his television gigs.” Well, that makes one of us.

  11. Redhawk 5 years ago

    Would really signing any of those guys for the money they are going to want, be enough to turn the Dodgers season around? Would they then be able to keep up with the Giants and the Rockies (I’m not a buyer on the Padres, yet)? If the answer is no…keep the cash, and play the best young pitchers in the system. Let them learn and develop. It will be painful, but if the season is lost anyway, might as well lay foundations for the future.

  12. Redhawk 5 years ago

    Would really signing any of those guys for the money they are going to want, be enough to turn the Dodgers season around? Would they then be able to keep up with the Giants and the Rockies (I’m not a buyer on the Padres, yet)? If the answer is no…keep the cash, and play the best young pitchers in the system. Let them learn and develop. It will be painful, but if the season is lost anyway, might as well lay foundations for the future.

  13. oldWillsfan 5 years ago

    While you can’t turn back the clock that was why it was such a poor decision for the Dodgers to keep both Ortiz’s and sell Stults to Japan. If a veteran was so important they should have kept one and Stults.

    As an earlier post noted, with perhaps the exception of Washburn all of the other pitchers mentioned in the FA market will require at least a month and at this point are no more than six inning pitchers. Washburn is a Boras client, so don’t see him coming to the Dodgers.

    Potential move for later in the summer maybe trying to get Sheets from the A’s, especially if he continues to do well. He is auditioing for a long term contract and is the veteran type that Ned and Torre like. Regardless of how the A’s are doing they are always interested in prospects.

  14. oldWillsfan 5 years ago

    While you can’t turn back the clock that was why it was such a poor decision for the Dodgers to keep both Ortiz’s and sell Stults to Japan. If a veteran was so important they should have kept one and Stults.

    As an earlier post noted, with perhaps the exception of Washburn all of the other pitchers mentioned in the FA market will require at least a month and at this point are no more than six inning pitchers. Washburn is a Boras client, so don’t see him coming to the Dodgers.

    Potential move for later in the summer maybe trying to get Sheets from the A’s, especially if he continues to do well. He is auditioing for a long term contract and is the veteran type that Ned and Torre like. Regardless of how the A’s are doing they are always interested in prospects.

  15. coach_coryell 5 years ago

    ZAMBRANO!

  16. coach_coryell 5 years ago

    ZAMBRANO!

  17. addude13 5 years ago

    How about Elbert? Is he relief-only?

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      Hes a starter, but has had a rough start to the year…

  18. addude13 5 years ago

    How about Elbert? Is he relief-only?

  19. buxfan 5 years ago

    What would Dodgers fans be willing to give for Duke/Maholm?

  20. guerrerogs 5 years ago

    The best outcome would be for the McCourts to sell the team to an owner who actually cares about the quality of the product being put out onto the field MORE than ensuring they have five mansions in LA to live in, chauffered travel, Gulfstreams, mani/pedis, etc.

    Barring that, and given how cheap Frank McCourt is, what are the odds of the Dodgers offering up Manny Ramirez in trade for a starter? I know its a contract expiry year for Manny, but he’s posting strong numbers this year and there might be some AL teams out there with pennant hopes who would be interested in inserting ManRam into their lineups this season?

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      The chance Manny gets traded? Slim to none. If we want to compete, we need him. Look at the offense since he was put on the DL… when you take out a 400 hitter, an OPS of over 1.000 and MANNY FREAKIN RAMIREZ from a lineup, it becomes much weaker…

  21. joeym2623 5 years ago

    As a Dodger fan it’s tough to say this but it doesn’t make a difference if they bring in a half ass starter or not. It’s irrelevant. The bottom line is their rotation is rancid. Kershaw is going to be great but beyond that there’re shaky. Kuroda is looking good now but I doubt it will last. Billingsley…forget it. Should have traded him 2 years ago…he’s useless. We’re going to take a big step back this year. The whole division got better and the Dodgers who have been 1 ace short of a world series the last 2 years took a big step back. Sad…

  22. bigmike04 5 years ago

    their reason why their not going to get these 3 pitchers is because of the recent divorice that is being play out with the owner and his soon to be cheating wife.. They have to settle who get what and on team.

  23. toptimrubies 5 years ago

    Cool, we’ll send you Garret Anderson in return.

  24. PaulGargano 5 years ago

    Maybe the pitching coach at the Major League level isn’t the issue – this supposedly stellar pitching depth hasn’t developed into much once it hits Los Angeles. What’s the point of having it, if you can’t use it? Other teams are promoting lesser guys left and right and getting quality starts, we’ve got “studs” in the L.A. farms, and are lucky if Haeger can make it out of the fourth inning. Something is terribly wrong there! I’m all for being patient, but it seems like they don’t even have a master plan… It’s all about putting a patchwork staff together that doesn’t cost them anything.

  25. PaulGargano 5 years ago

    Maybe the pitching coach at the Major League level isn’t the issue – this supposedly stellar pitching depth hasn’t developed into much once it hits Los Angeles. What’s the point of having it, if you can’t use it? Other teams are promoting lesser guys left and right and getting quality starts, we’ve got “studs” in the L.A. farms, and are lucky if Haeger can make it out of the fourth inning. Something is terribly wrong there! I’m all for being patient, but it seems like they don’t even have a master plan… It’s all about putting a patchwork staff together that doesn’t cost them anything.

  26. markjsunz 5 years ago

    A pitching coach is not a miracle man when you use career minor leaguers, sign cheap has beens, rush top prospects to the major leagues before they are ready, and let your best pitcher go in free agency this is about what you should expect. The poor broke owner made $110 million in tax free profits and his lawyer fees are around $20 million dollars. Hopefully the courts force the McCourts to sell the team because if they do not find another owner I would expect all the prized young players to walk when they become free agents. And McCourt does not sign talented draft picks. The dodgers will look like an expansion team.

  27. markjsunz 5 years ago

    A pitching coach is not a miracle man when you use career minor leaguers, sign cheap has beens, rush top prospects to the major leagues before they are ready, and let your best pitcher go in free agency this is about what you should expect. The poor broke owner made $110 million in tax free profits and his lawyer fees are around $20 million dollars. Hopefully the courts force the McCourts to sell the team because if they do not find another owner I would expect all the prized young players to walk when they become free agents. And McCourt does not sign talented draft picks. The dodgers will look like an expansion team.

  28. lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

    you must be smart with your prospects. You can promote them right away, as soon as they could be ready. But then they more than likely wont reach their potential. Pitchers need the most time to refine command and because they NEED so many tools to develop, command, multiple pitches, etc. And you seem to ignore the fact that these guys are far from old. Elbert is still in AAA because he had an injury to his elbow and they took it slow.. exactly what you should do when you feel he has ace potential. James should be in the pen right now, but they want him to be a starter. They have no idea what to do with Lindblom, if he is a starter or reliever. Thats what is taking him so long. Even so, Jmac is the oldest and is, what, 26?

    And dont rip the MiLB coaches, they are some of the best in the league. Both for hitters and pitchers…

  29. lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

    you must be smart with your prospects. You can promote them right away, as soon as they could be ready. But then they more than likely wont reach their potential. Pitchers need the most time to refine command and because they NEED so many tools to develop, command, multiple pitches, etc. And you seem to ignore the fact that these guys are far from old. Elbert is still in AAA because he had an injury to his elbow and they took it slow.. exactly what you should do when you feel he has ace potential. James should be in the pen right now, but they want him to be a starter. They have no idea what to do with Lindblom, if he is a starter or reliever. Thats what is taking him so long. Even so, Jmac is the oldest and is, what, 26?

    And dont rip the MiLB coaches, they are some of the best in the league. Both for hitters and pitchers…

  30. joeym2623 5 years ago

    They wouldn’t spend the money anyway. I’m sick of hearing about this divorce as an excuse not to pay players. Should have went out and signed halladay or a front line strater. No, they stand back and watch Philly, the team that has beaten them the last 2 years go out and sign the best pitcher in baseball.

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