Justin Verlander is still one of the best pitchers in baseball even though he will turn 40 ahead of the 2023 season. The right-hander, fresh off of a World Series victory with the Houston Astros, is already receiving attention in free agency. Teams such as the Astros, Mets, and Yankees have been mentioned as fits for Verlander. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers may be the best fit for him.
Los Angeles is looking to win a World Series. Anything less than a championship would be considered a failure in LA, and Verlander knows what it takes to win. With that being said, let's take a look at 2 reasons why the Dodgers are the perfect fit for the Justin Verlander.
The Dodgers' 2023 missing link
Justin Verlander will not require a long-term contract. At most, teams will need to dish out a 3-year deal to sign the right-hander. But a 1 or 2 year contract will also be on the table for the soon to be 40 year old. With Walker Buehler set to miss most of the 2023 campaign and prospect Bobby Miller still developing in the minor leagues, Verlander profiles as an excellent short-term option for the Dodgers.
Additionally, he is not tied to a draft pick via a qualifying offer which makes him an even more attractive free agent option.
As aforementioned, Los Angeles has World Series aspirations. Justin Verlander's presence would be impactful alongside Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation.
Verlander and Kershaw are two of the best pitchers of their generation. Both are previous Cy Young award winners that would make for a dynamic duo in Los Angeles' rotation. 2022 NL Cy Young hopeful Julio Urias and breakout star Tony Gonsolin would help to make this rotation the best in baseball. And with Dustin May emerging onto the scene, the Dodgers' World Series chances would drastically increase with Verlander on the roster.
Closing out a career in LA
Justin Verlander will likely win the 2022 AL Cy Young award and clearly still has plenty of gas left in the tank. With that being said, he will not pitch forever and this could be the final contract he receives in his career. And it is difficult to think of a better way to close out a legendary career than pitching in Los Angeles for a competitive Dodgers ball club.
If Verlander were to sign with the Dodgers, there is a very real chance he will win a World Series. Los Angeles is always in the hunt and his presence would elevate the team.
In the end, Justin Verlander will have no shortage of potential landing destinations in free agency. An Astros' reunion is not out of the question, and the Mets could make an effort to sign him.
But the Dodgers are a perfect fit for Verlander.