Dodgers Are Looking For A Starter, So Let’s Look At Their Options

The Dodgers are still in the market for a starting pitcher, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Source: #Dodgers not done. Looking for another starting pitcher. Nothing close.

Buster Olney at ESPN hears similar chatter, so there’s definitely something going on, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise Dodger fans anymore.

Since the Dodgers are actively looking for rotation help, it seems like a good time to take a look at what their potential trade options are at the moment.

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Placed On Waivers

Aaron Cook – He was placed on waivers almost two weeks ago, but no reports on whether he cleared or not. Making $1.5 million in 2012 and a free agent after the season, he has a 4.76 ERA/5.06 FIP/4.45 xFIP/4.32 SIERA. Needless to say, he’s not going to be an improvement over anybody in the rotation. Pointless to acquire.

Edinson Volquez – He was placed on waivers a week ago, but no reports on whether he cleared or not. Volquez is making $2.2 million in 2012 and has a year of team control left. He has a 4.10 ERA/4.12 FIP/4.21 xFIP/4.38 SIERA. While Volquez could help the team, he profiles as yet another #3/#4 type in a rotation full of them. However, there’s upside with him because he does have electric stuff. Not sure he’s worth the prospects it would take to get him, but wouldn’t mind having him in the right deal.

Jon LesterPlaced on waivers five days ago, but whether he cleared or not is unknown. Lester is making $7.6 million in 2012, is set to make $11.6 million in 2013, and has a $13 million club option in 2014 with a $250k buyout. He has a 4.98 ERA/3.99 FIP/3.61 xFIP/3.72 SIERA and that could make him a solid addition to the rotation. However, if he was going to be dealt, especially to the Dodgers, I don’t see why they wouldn’t have done so with the Adrian Gonzalez deal. I’d love to have him, but I doubt it happens because it wouldn’t make much sense.

Kevin Millwood – He was placed on waivers a couple days ago and there’s no word on whether he’s been claimed yet. Millwood is making $1 million in 2012 and will be a free agent after the season. He has a 4.28 ERA/3.76 FIP/4.26 xFIP/4.40 SIERA, so I put him in the same category as Cook and a notch below Volquez due to a lack of upside. Meh.

Jason Vargas – He was placed on waivers a couple days ago and there’s no word on whether he’s been claimed yet. Vargas makes $4.9 million this year and has another year of team control before hitting free agency. He has a 3.75 ERA/4.72 FIP/4.37 xFIP/4.44 SIERA, so it shouldn’t surprise you that he’s in there with Cook and Millwood. Not worth the effort.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – Placed on waivers yesterday, there’s been no word on whether he’s been claimed yet. He makes $10 million this year and next year before hitting free agency. In six starts, he has posted a 5.10 ERA/4.19 FIP/4.37 xFIP/4.07 SIERA. While this article says he’s worth a waiver claim, four years of mediocrity and astronomical injury risk lead me to a different conclusion.

Shaun Marcum – He was put on waivers yesterday and nobody knows if he has been claimed yet. Marcum is making $7.7 million in 2012 and will be a free agent after the season. He’s currently posting a 3.19 ERA/3.74 FIP/4.00 xFIP/3.74 SIERA season, which makes him one of the few available that would be worth pursuing hard, as he could be as effective as a #2 in this rotation. Would depend on the prospects involved, but I like the idea.

Cleared Waivers

Roy Oswalt – He cleared waivers three weeks ago and is free to be dealt. Oswalt is making $5 million this year and has put up a 5.94 ERA/4.07 FIP/3.49 xFIP/3.39 SIERA line. Those are quality peripherals, but he refused to pitch out of the bullpen for the Rangers earlier this year, and the Dodgers have a backlog of average starters, so it could be a potential headache. With that said, there’s potential upside here, as his numbers indicate that he still has a quality arm.

Ineligible

Cliff Lee – For all those asking, it’s close to impossible. The Phillies pulled him back when the Dodgers claimed him earlier, so even though they could put him on irrevocable waivers, they would get nothing in return for him, which makes it extremely unlikely.

Rumors

Mark Buehrle – He hasn’t been placed on waivers yet to anybody’s knowledge, but he was named as a prime candidate for the Dodgers by Buster Olney. He’s making $10 million in 2012, $11 million in 2013, $18 million in 2014, and $19 million in 2015. Buehrle is currently putting up a 3.62 ERA/4.13 FIP/4.22 xFIP/4.37 SIERA, which is solid enough, but certainly not a clear improvement over anybody already in the rotation. Plus, he’s already 33 and he starts making the most money as he enters the steep decline phase of the aging curve. Meh.

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If the team isn’t going to be acquiring Marcum, Lester, or, to a lesser extent, Volquez, then I don’t see what the point is because nobody else listed would provide a meaningful upgrade over the five or six starters the Dodgers already have.

Perhaps the team has yet another surprise in store, but given the available options, this may be as good as it’s going to get for the Dodgers until 2013.

About Chad Moriyama

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