Culver City Observer -

Dodgers Eye Fernandez But There's Strong Competition

 

December 10, 2015



By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

The Dodgers, who have lost out on David Price and Zach Greinke, would like to add 23-year-old Jose Fernandez to their starting pitching rotation.

The trouble is there’s strong competition. The Miami Marlins say Fernandez isn’t available but they’ve listened to offers from the Dodgers, Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros.

Fernandez is a quality pitcher who would replace Greinke as the Dodgers’ Number Two starter behind Clayton Kershaw.

The most interesting aspect of this story is that Arizona prepared for this free agent signing period for a couple of years by limiting their spending.

The Giants and Dodgers have ruled the division for several years but the Diamondbacks set out to sign two exceptional starting pitchers for the 2016 season hoping to be a contender in the division and then in the playoffs.

It was shocking when the Diamonds took Greinke away from the Dodgers with a $206 million contract.

It would be equally shocking if they would land another high profile starter. But their plan has been to sign two top-level pitchers for next season.

What would that do to the division? Well, the division winner would qualify for the playoffs but the second place team would have no such guarantee.

Don’t forget that both wild card teams in the recently-completed season, the Pirates and Cubs, came from another division.

Are we ready for the Dodgers to fail making the playoffs after sending Don Mattingly away after he won the division three straight years? What would be the fans’ response if new manager Dave Roberts didn’t even get his team into the playoffs?

The Dodgers have other goals in the current off-season period when teams try to improve their rosters.

At baseball’s winter meetings which began a week ago the Dodgers seemed to be far along on a trade for Cincinnati star closer Aroldis Chapman. But talks slowed down when Chapman was involved in a domestic dispute.

A Florida police report charged Chapman with choking his girlfriend and firing a gun eight times.

Another complication of that potential deal is that both Chapman and current Dodger closer Kenley Jansen will be free agents after the 2016 season. Would either one be satisfied if they’re not the ace of a bullpen staff in 2016? Probably not.

The Astros are making a serious bid too.

Fernandez has made only 47 starts in his brief major league career but has a 22-9 record and 2.40 earned run average. He doesn’t have an outrageously high salary in contrast to the free agent pitchers who’ve been signed recently.

The Marlins have said they’re not going to trade Fernandez unless they get an overwhelming offer for players in a deal.

The Dodgers would have to give up several of their top prospects.

The latest news regarding the possibility that Chapman will be traded to the Dodgers is its unlikely to happen for several weeks if it happens at all. That’s because Major League Baseball, which has a policy against domestic violence, is investigating the charges.

 

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