As of right now, only three spots in the 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers‘ starting rotation are filled up; Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the only guaranteed members of said rotation. I still feel Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett both have something left in their tank and would be capable of manning the fourth and fifth spots of the rotation for the Dodgers. However, due to them both coming off of injuries, it may not be the smartest thing to expect anything at all from those two. This is where the pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka proves to be very valuable for the Dodgers.
Ryu, Yasiel Puig and most recently Alexander Guerrero were all signed by the Dodgers just in the last year, and already two of the three have made a huge impact for the team. Tanaka supposedly has ace talent, but just like I said about Guerrero, not all talented foreign players have the same impact in the United States. So, even if Tanaka doesn’t have his best stuff when he first takes the mound in the majors, he is only expected to be fourth in the rotation for the Dodgers. With that said, I’m sure he would do a far better job than either Billingsley or Beckett at this point of their injury-prone careers.
Los Angeles has been having great luck signing these foreign talents, and hopefully they have the same luck if they manage to get Tanaka as well. Whether or not the Dodgers are able to acquire Masahiro, it’s still very smart to try to get him. If they don’t get him, it won’t make or break the team, however, if they do get him, it will make the Dodgers even better than they already are.
Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org