Despite the scheduled start of 2021 Spring Training only a few weeks away, Trevor Bauer, Nelson Cruz, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna and Justin Turner remain among the notable free agents who are still unsigned.
Early into the offseason Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman identified the bullpen and a right-handed hitting position player as focal points this winter. The team has addressed their group of relief pitchers and been linked to the likes of Ozuna, Marcus Semien and Turner.
Most recently the Dodgers were said to be monitoring the market for Bauer. Their interest — just like with Bryce Harper — presumably is based on the possibility of signing the right-hander to a short-term contract with a high average annual value.
However, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Dodgers aren’t viewed as a likely landing spot for Bauer:
A Bauer-Dodgers union still feels like a long shot to most industry sources, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be pitching in the Los Angeles area.
The UCLA product is believed to have drawn interest from the likes of the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays over recent weeks. However, with the Blue Jays signing George Springer to a six-year, $150 million contract, it could impact their pursuit of Bauer.
All of the various factors could lead to him eventually signing with the L.A. Angels, a team in need of starting pitching. But with the Angels it’s unclear if they would be willing to make the financial commitment.
Dodgers pitching depth
That the Dodgers aren’t viewed as a favorite for Bauer is hardly a surprise. Friedman historically has been reluctant to dole out a nine-figure contract, and the team certainly does not lack for options in their starting rotation.
It will be led by Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, and welcome back David Price as the veteran left-hander has continued to indicate he will pitch this season after opting out of 2020.
Behind those three will be some combination of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias.
Of course, if the Dodgers could get Bauer to agree to a short contract, they presumably would be more than happy to add yet another Cy Young Award winner to the rotation.
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