The Los Angeles Dodgers have turned to a familiar face to bolster their rotation depth. The club has agreed to a one-year contract with free agent left-hander Alex Wood, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. The deal is worth $4 million guaranteed with incentives that can push the total value to $10 million. The team has not yet confirmed the signing but Wood himself has:
Rosenthal reports Wood has already taken and passed his physical, which is no small matter. He missed most of last season with a lingering back injury. Wood hurt his back in spring training, returned in late July, then hurt his back again in August, ending his season. Between back injuries, Wood made seven mostly ineffective starts with the Reds.
The Dodgers lost lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu to free agency earlier this offseason. Wood, 29, spent parts of four seasons with Los Angeles from 2015-18 and was very good, throwing 434 2/3 innings with a 3.46 ERA. He was an All-Star in 2017. The Dodgers traded Wood to Cincinnati with Yasiel Puig for prospects and salary relief last offseason.
With Wood in the mix, the club's rotation depth chart currently looks something like this:
- LHP Clayton Kershaw
- RHP Walker Buehler
- RHP Kenta Maeda
- RHP Ross Stripling
- LHP Alex Wood
- RHP Jimmy Nelson
- LHP Julio Urias
- RHP Tony Gonsolin
- RHP Dustin May
Nelson, Stripling, Urias, and Wood are all candidates to wind up in the bullpen. Gonsolin and May (and Urias) are highly regarded young pitchers who are likely to be on some sort of workload limit in 2020. The Dodgers are not shy about manipulating the 10-day injured list to give their pitchers a midseason breather. They use their depth well.
According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, the Dodgers have $175.3 million on the books for luxury tax purposes in 2020. They are well short of the $208 million luxury tax threshold and have enough breathing room to make a substantial move, like sign Josh Donaldson or trade for a big name like Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts, or Francisco Lindor.
. With or without him, the Dodgers would've gone into this coming season as overwhelming favorites to win their eighth consecutive NL West title.