With one of the, if not the, best young pitchers in Major League Baseball in Clayton Kershaw, you wouldn’t think it’d be hard for the Los Angeles Dodgers to be able to get good pitchers to surround him in the pitching rotation.
Yet this offseason the Dodgers have missed out on not one, not two, but three pitchers that they have been either been strongly rumored with or nearly signed.
It started with Zack Greinke, the 2015 runner-up to the NL Cy Young award as he pitched to a 19-3 record with a 1.66 ERA.
Two weeks ago Greinke, who opted out of his contract with Los Angeles to become a free agent, said that he had narrowed down his choice to between the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. But instead, both teams lost out and Greinke signed with another division opponent in the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles then turned its attention to two other pitchers – one a free agent, the other the hardest throwing pitcher in the majors who they’d have to trade for.
It appeared that Los Angeles and new manager Dave Roberts had moved on from Greinke.
But that’s when everything fell apart.
Days after trading for the former Cincinnati closer, it was reported that Chapman was being investigated in a domestic violence case stemming from an incident in late October. Despite having already agreed to the trade, the Dodgers cut ties with the closer, and Chapman is now hoping to be signed by another team.
It was then reported Thursday morning that Los Angeles’ deal with Iwakuma had hit a rough patch due to a problem during the physical. Shortly thereafter, the Dodgers and the Japanese pitcher were reportedly no longer connected.
Late into the night, Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio in Seattle confirmed that Iwakuma had signed a 1-year deal to stay Seattle. The deal includes options for 2017 and 2018.
The Dodgers missed once again.
Dodgers are out.
Considering the only notable singing thus far this offseason that has went through for the Dodgers has been the re-signing of 37 year-old second baseman Chase Utley, while the Giants and Diamondbacks have both bolstered their rotation with two above-average starting pitchers, it looks like 2016 could be a thought year for Los Angeles.
You have to begin to wonder if Kershaw, who can opt out of his current contract after 2018, will stay for the entirety of the 7-year contract he signed two years ago with LAD, or if he will soon wish to test the open market for the first time in his career and go to a winning team.
Because as it looks right now, two of the other teams in the NL West are trying to win it all, and the Dodgers are being left in the dust.