The Los Angeles Dodgers have been relatively silent this offseason on the pitching front. They signed Andrew Heaney early, handing him a one year deal worth $8 million, but have not done much since. It is a strange approach for a team that, even if Clayton Kershaw returns, has several holes in the rotation.
But the Dodgers do have a possible wild card. Trevor Bauer is still under contract, with the Dodgers potentially seeing him as having a large role in the upcoming season.
Los Angeles Dodgers could be set to welcome Trevor Bauer back
Bauer’s status for the upcoming season is in question. He has been on administrative leave since July as the legal investigation into domestic abuse accusations continues. At this point, he has not been charged with a criminal violation, nor has the league instituted any discipline in his case.
If Bauer returns, he would be a boost to a Dodgers’ pitching staff that could certainly use his services. He posted a 2.53 ERA and a 1.003 WHiP in his 107.2 innings, striking out 137 batters with 37 walks. Although he allowed a 19 homers, he was able to mitigate that damage by limiting baserunners.
As it currently stands, the Dodgers have two starters in their rotation. Walker Buehler and Julio Urias are the only pitchers assured of being starters in 2022. Tony Gonsolin is listed as a part of the rotation, but he has struggled to go deep into games. Heaney is expected to serve as a long reliever/spot starter, but could end up taking Gonsolin’s role. Even if Kershaw returns, there is a gaping hole in the rotation.
That could be filled by Bauer. The Dodgers are still on the hook for his salary and would likely want some return for that expenditure. Although his teammates had indicated a reluctance to welcome him back, one would assume the front office would smooth over any issues. And, in the end, winning solves a lot of clubhouse problems.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been quiet on the pitching front in free agency. That could be a sign that they expect Trevor Bauer back in 2022.