2023 Dodgers Trade Rumors: All about Justin Verlander … and maybe Eduardo Rodriguez & Mitch Keller

The Dodgers have been relatively active so far at the deadline, but the rumor mill has not been, as there honestly aren’t many concrete connections to explore.


Unfortunately, the excitement of the last rumors post was short-lived, as we now know that any hopes of getting Nolan Arenado are dead, or at the very least remote.

“I have stated we are not trading him, have not asked him to waive his [no-trade clause],” Mozeliak said, according to the newspaper. “So at this time, we are working on building future success.”
That doesn’t mean talks between the Cardinals and Dodgers didn’t happen. Discussions centered on Arenado going to Los Angeles with a pitcher — Jack Flaherty or Jordan Montgomery — in exchange for a package featuring pitching prospects. Arenado’s contract includes a no-trade clause, but he would’ve waived it to join the Dodgers, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Oh well, there’s always the off-season.


The Dodgers have now turned their attention to the starting pitching market in earnest, as Justin Verlander from the Mets appears to be Plan A.

Plan A is a pursuit of New York Mets ace Justin Verlander — a potential blockbuster deal that remains on the table ahead of Tuesday’s 3 p.m. Pacific deadline, but will require the teams to bridge gaps on both the prospect return the Dodgers would send to New York, as well as how much of Verlander’s contract the Mets are willing to pay down.

Verlander is 40 and has seen his numbers take a step back from his 2022 Cy Young Award season, posting a 3.15 ERA, 3.29 xERA, and 4.61 DRA, and has notably seen his strikeout rate fall of the third year in a row and is walking almost double the batters as he did in 2022.

He also missed all of April due to a teres major strain, but has found his form of late, posting a 1.69 ERA in five July starts. That said, the strikeout to walk rate is still a pedestrian 32 to 16, which is why he has a 3.20 FIP over that time. Also, again, he’s 40 so bouncing back from injury-riddled start is not necessarily a good sign for future injury concerns. And that’s relevant because he’s owed $15 million this year, $43 million next year, and has a $35 million vesting option (140 innings in 2024) for 2025. Oh right, he also has a no-trade clause as well, and might want the Dodgers to do something like ensure that 2025 option to waive it. That’s a huge outlay for a pitcher showing pretty obvious signs of decline.

On the other hand, the Dodgers are pretty damn desperate right now, and they’ve put themselves in this hole with the off-season they had, during which they wanted to sign Verlander for about the same outlay anyway. It’s also a Hall Of Fame pitcher, who they surely hope would figure out adjustments to be effective going forward, and could also mentor their other young arms.

Still, the only way I can see this working is if the Mets either want to straight salary dump him or pay down his contract and only request high-minor prospects (rather than like Bobby Miller or Emmet Sheehan) in return. It seems unlikely.

However, the more money the Mets include in the deal, the more of a prospect package they’ll want in return, with young Dodgers pitchers, including Emmet Sheehan, believed to be coveted by New York, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Yeah. Understandable, but unless they are willing to take different prospects, I’m not sure how much sense it makes since the Dodgers need all the MLB-ready young pitching they can get themselves.


In the same article, it’s mentioned that Trade Deadline Target Eduardo Rodriguez from the Tigers is the fallback option.

Plan B could be a pivot to Detroit Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez — a 30-year-old veteran who is having a career-best year and could become a free agent this winter.

We’ve already went deep on him in the Targets article, but everything has seemingly held since.

As always, it depends on the price, but this does seem to be the most sensible option at the moment.


Mitch Keller of the Pirates is an exciting possibility…

…or at least he was, until Bruce heard otherwise.



Again, not a lot of connections to others out there like Jack Flaherty or Michael Lorenzen, but they surely have to be in discussion as well. I haven’t seen Paul Blackburn‘s name mentioned, but he could make some sense as well. Hell, even Rich Hill. I mean, why not?

Either way, by admitting that even Lance Lynn is an upgrade, it seems clear the Dodgers know they need to upgrade the pitching staff, it’s just a matter of finding the right deal. I can’t imagine them not getting at least another starter, or this could be a complete mess down the stretch.

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