Breaking News: Dodgers Predicted to Enter a $35 Million Sweepstakes for All-MLB Ace

Andrew Friedman

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already spent more than $1 billion to ensure they had the most effective offseason of any MLB team.

And while much of that spending was focused on the starting rotation — including $325 million for Yoshinobu Yamamoto, at least $7 million for James Paxton and at least $5 million to bring back Clayton Kershaw — there is reason to believe the Dodgers will also enter the bidding for reigning National League Cy Young winner and All-MLB starting pitcher Blake Snell.

Snell’s agent Scott Boras has informed teams that he’s open to a short-term contract with opt-outs similar to deals signed by Matt Chapman (three years, $54 million) and Cody Bellinger (three years, $80 million), according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

If that’s the case, Doug McKain of Dodgers Nation predicted that Los Angeles would indeed join the fray.

“If it comes down to him picking a shorter-term deal, then the Dodgers say, … ‘Hey, we might as well at least make contact to see how much it would cost to bring you in here’ on what would ultimately be a multi-year deal that would allow Snell to opt out after this season,” McKain said.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Could Use a Stop-Gap Starting Pitcher in Blake Snell

McKain added that, while the Dodgers already have formidable pitching depth on paper, Shohei Ohtani won’t return to the mound in 2024, Yamamoto is used to playing in six-man rotations as part of Nippon Professional Baseball and many of the remaining starters have a history of injury, including Paxton, Kershaw and Tyler Glasnow.

At a projected cost of $35 million to $40 million in average annual value (AAV), Snell could provide the kind of “stop gap” that significantly improves the Dodgers’ World Series chances.

“If it’s at $35 to $40 million AAV, something in that range, and you’re on that shorter-term deal, maybe the Dodgers say, ‘Look, if he comes in here for one season, he provides that stop-gap pitcher that gets us to 2025,’” he said. “Can he provide that bridge while also giving you depth this season?”

Without Even More Help, the World Series Is Far From Guaranteed for the Los Angeles Dodgers
With their investments on the mound and at the plate this offseason, added to a team that already had Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Bobby Miller, the Dodgers all but guaranteed entry to the 2024 postseason.

But making the playoffs hasn’t been a problem for the Dodgers lately — they have 11 straight postseason appearances.

The issue, at least in the most recent history, has been making deep runs. In both of the last two seasons, the Dodgers have been knocked out in the National League Division Series.

Last season, they were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks largely due to lackluster pitching: Kershaw allowed six runs in Game 1 and Miller gave up three runs in less than two innings in Game 2.

Even after the most aggressive offseason in MLB, the Dodgers might see an opportunity to further bolster their defenses against a similar exit.

Especially with Snell still on the market, now apparently willing to take a short-term deal.

“Blake Snell at a discounted rate, if they think that he’s going to be that guy, someone who in the postseason has lights-out stuff coming off his best season as a pitcher, hey, maybe they think it’s worth doing,” McKain said.