1. RHP Gerrit Cole
The Los Angeles Dodgers could use another right-handed starting pitcher for next season. Yu Darvish fit their needs perfectly, but as we saw in the World Series, did not have what it took to perform in big game moments.
Now — per Jon Heyman — Darvish returning to the Dodgers is not completely ruled out, but is unlikely. According to the report, one rival executive gave Darvish no chance in resigning with LA. This leaves a gap directly behind Clayton Kershaw in the pitching rotation. Alex Wood and Rich Hill are good, but Los Angeles needs a viable right-hander behind Kershaw.
While there are free agent options available, the pool is not the deepest for the Dodgers to dip into. Jake Arrieta presents the only other viable number two option outside of Darvish. After him, the talent drops off to Alex Cobb. Cobb is a good pitcher no doubt but is not a number two pitcher.
Thus, the Dodgers can capitalize on ongoing trade rumors around Pirates’ young right-hander Gerrit Cole. Cole is one of the best young arms in the business and under Rick Honeycutt‘s guidance could blossom into a true all-star. Cole was already an all-star back in 2015 when he posted a 19-8 record with a 2.60 ERA.
The tradeoff will undoubtedly need to be some elite level prospects such as Alex Verdugo, but it would definitely be worth it for the Los Angeles Dodgers.