Dodgers not looking to sign pitcher for more than 2 years

Harry How

Los Angeles is looking for a short-term solution if they were to sign one of the arms available in free agency.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are not likely to sign any free agent starting pitchers to a contract longer than two years, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. They are also unwilling to give up their 2014 draft pick to sign a player who turned down a qualifying offer.

The latter stipulation will rule them out from attempting to lure Hiroki Kuroda back to Los Angeles. He will likely want a short-term deal if he stays in the MLB as he has said he would like to finish his career back in Japan. However, the Yankees offered him the qualifying offer, necessitating the forfeiture of a draft pick from any other team who signs him.

If they do not want to sign a player to a long-term contract, that will also remove them from conversations for Matt Garza, Ervin Santana or their own free agent, Ricky Nolasco. All three will receive more years on the open market. The Dodgers have been rumored so heavily to have an interest in Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka that they would likely make an exception to this limitation to go after him if the MLB and Japan can work out a new posting system.

The Dodgers could still be eyeing other pitchers who will be available on a one- or two-year contract. Most notable among those would be Tim Hudson, who has received a lot of interest this offseason. It also does not preclude the team from making a trade for an established pitcher like Max Scherzer or David Price.

Los Angeles currently has Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu at the top of their rotation. Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are still under contract for 2014 and could be penciled into the final two spots, but the team is likely looking for an upgrade.

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