Dodgers still willing to pay for another starting pitcher
The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t finished.
The team still wants to add another starting pitcher, even after agreeing Wednesday with left-hander Clayton Kershaw on a seven-year, $215 million contract, according to major league sources.
Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka remains a Dodgers target, but sources say ownership will make the call on whether to commit a potential $140 million-plus for the winning bid — $20 million in posting fee and $120 million-plus in salary.
If Tanaka signs with another club, free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo will be on the short list of starting pitchers the Dodgers will pursue, sources say.
Arroyo, who will turn 37 on Feb. 24, appeals to the Dodgers for two reasons: The Cincinnati Reds did not make him a qualifying offer, so he would not cost the team a draft pick, and he is one of the most durable pitchers in baseball.
Since 2006, Arroyo has led all major leaguers in starts and all National Leaguers in wins and innings pitched. He has never been on the disabled list. And in four of the past five seasons, his ERA has been below 3.90.
Arroyo is seeking a three-year contract, sources say. The Dodgers, like most teams, would prefer to hold him to two years, but such a difference often can be bridged with a vesting option if interest exists on both sides.
Billingsley, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is expected back before the All-Star break, Dodgers officials say. Beckett, coming off thoracic outlet surgery, could be ready by the start of spring training.
The Dodgers also have a number of starting pitching prospects, including right-handers Zach Lee and Ross Stripling, who could surface in the majors in 2014.