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MLB insider views Los Angeles Dodgers as best fit for Justin Verlander

Vincent Frank

The defending National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers have already made waves this offseason, bringing back all-time great Clayton Kershaw for another year in Southern California.

But Los Angeles and its free-spending ways doesn’t appear to be done there. That includes the 111-win team from a season ago being linked to reigning American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

It was noted earlier this month that both the Dodgers and New York Yankees were among the teams interested in the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer.

In talking about this situation, Jon Morosi of MLB Network indicated on Monday that he believes the Dodgers are the best fit for Verlander.

Whether the MLB insider is telling us something remains to be seen. What we do know is that Los Angeles is in need of more starters following the surprising departure of All-Star Tyler Anderson up the I-5 in Southern California.

Anderson turned down a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers last week, only to sign a multi-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. This had to catch them by surprise, leading to the team becoming proactive in the search for another starter on the MLB free agent market.

Related: Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner and the top MLB free agents

Justin Verlander as a fit for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Justin Verlander, Los Angeles Dodgers
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There’s actually a need for multiple starting pitchers in Southern California despite the Dodgers returning Kershaw. Walker Buehler will miss the entire 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Andrew Heaney is currently a free agent. With Anderson’s departure, there’s a few holes to fill behind the likes of Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin and Kershaw.

  • Justin Verlander stats (2022): 18-4 record, 1.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 185 strikeouts in 175 innings

Despite starting all of one game between the 2020 and 2021 campaigns, Verlander returned to form big time this past season. He doesn’t seem to have lost anything even after undergoing Tommy John Surgery himself.

From a Dodgers perspective, relying on two aging pitchers in Kershaw and Verlander who boast recent injury issues is a risk. But given Los Angeles’ ability to spend the big bucks, it wouldn’t necessarily rule out going after other top-end free agents. That includes New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge and a potential replacement for current free-agent shortstop Trea Turner.

What we do know is that a big four of Kershaw, Verlander, Urias and Gonsolin would give the Los Angeles Dodgers an elite starting rotation as they look to bounce back following a disappointing 2022 playoff run.