The Dodgers still have interest in Masahiro Tanaka and Bronson Arroyo, even after reaching a record-setting deal with Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
Dodgers management has remained mum on Tanaka thus far, though reports have indicated that any Tanaka move would be an "ownership decision." Stan Kasten did suggest that the pending Kershaw deal wouldn't necessarily have an impact on any other contract, per the LA Times' Bill Shaikin. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports agreed saying:
had heard a kershaw deal wouldnt eliminate dodgers in tanaka derby. but we'll see once CK's big number comes in.
He later provided that "big number", with the breakdown coming as follows: an $18 million signing bonus, then salaries of $4 million in 2014, $30 million in 2015, $32 million in 2016, $33 million each in 2017 and 2018, $32 million in 2019 and $33 million in 2020.
It's fair to show some surprise that a team could lock down a pitcher for an average annual value more than $30 million and still be hungry for more pitching, but it's also fair to note that agreeing to terms with Kershaw didn't change their predicament when it comes to the 2014 team. He was on the team no matter what, and they still have an open spot in their rotation behind Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Dan Haren.
The Dodgers' pursuit of a fifth starter doesn't seem to bode well for the return of Josh Beckett, though he's expected to be ready for spring training after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery. Chad Billingsley is another potential option, though he won't be ready until June. It would also seem to indicate that they don't believe that former first-round pick Zach Lee is ready, after 38 starts and over 200 innings at Double-A.
Of course, the team entered last year with eight viable starting pitcher candidates last season and still turned to Matt Magill for six starts, so perhaps all it says is they've learned a lesson about depth.