Dodgers interested in Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon
The Los Angeles Dodgers will be in the market for the three biggest free agents of the 2019 offseason, pending that the prices are right.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Dodgers are interested in Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, but that they are also trying to be judicious with respect to payroll:
Dodgers are looking at Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. But while they can afford to go big, word is they have set valuations for each star and intend to remain disciplined.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 25, 2019
It is hardly a surprise to see the Dodgers in on the best free agents, especially given the heartbreaking nature of their NLDS against the Washington Nationals.
Still, Dodgers president Andrew Friedman has made getting under the luxury tax threshold a payroll for some time. Signing any of these three superstars would almost certainly put Los Angeles back over the mark.
Cole would be an interesting get for the Dodgers. They had arguably the best starting rotation in baseball last year, ranking second in fWAR and first in ERA. However, there is a feeling that Cole would prefer to return to the West Coast, which would make the Dodgers a natural fit.
Los Angeles will also likely let Hyun-Jin Ryu walk, and Rich Hill will miss half of the 2020 season after undergoing surgery. Sure, the Dodgers have depth guys like Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Dustin May, but Cole would obviously be the ace as soon as he set foot on Chavez Ravine.
Rendon would present another interesting fit. Current third baseman Justin Turner is open to a position change, and Rendon’s desire for a shorter deal (relatively speaking) could be more amenable to Friedman’s long-term goals of keeping the Dodgers under the threshold whenever possible.
Regardless, the Dodgers are expected to be active in pursuit of that elusive World Series title.