One day after Carlos Frias was unmercifully rocked 11-3 by the Padres (he only lasted four painful innings), it's safe to say Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers have ramped up their efforts to acquire starting pitching.
With that in mind, and based on the suggestions by the great writer Mark Saxon from ESPNLosAngeles.com, let's take a look at the seven starting pitchers he mentioned, with stats from this year and over their careers:
Scott Kazmir - Oakland
2015: 9 starts, 2-3, 3.09 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 53 K, 55 1/3 IP
Career: 249 starts (250 games), 93-82, 4.03 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1372 K, 1425 2/3 IP
Jesse Chavez - Oakland
2015: 6 starts (10 games), 1-4, 2.89 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 41 K, 43 2/3 IP
Career: 29 starts (233 games), 18-27, 4.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 378 K, 424 1/3 IP
Kyle Lohse - Milwaukee
2015: 9 starts, 3-4, 5.53 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 42 K, 53 2/3 IP
Career: 403 starts (427 games), 145-132, 4.31 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 1546 K, 2423 2/3 IP
Matt Garza - Milwaukee
2015: 9 starts, 2-6, 5.71 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 38 K, 52 IP
Career: 227 starts (230 games), 77-81, 3.88 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 1165 K, 1397 2/3 IP
Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati
2015: 9 starts: 3-4, 3.03 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 60 K, 65 1/3 IP
Career: 203 starts, 88-61, 3.26 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 1055 K, 1273 2/3 IP
Mike Leake - Cincinnati
2015: 9 starts, 2-3, 4.14 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 30 K, 58 2/3 IP
Career: 151 starts (156 games), 55-45, 3.93 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 641 K, 950 1/3 IP
Yovani Gallardo - Texas
2015: 10 starts, 4-6, 4.13 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 40 K, 56 2/3 IP
Career: 221 starts (224 games), 93-70, 3.71 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 1266 K, 1346 IP
Obviously, Cueto will be the big chip every contender is gunning for. It doesn't matter if the Dodgers' starting staff puts together a long run of quality starts, there's no denying just how big of an impact Cueto can make if he comes into the fold. To be as dominant as he's been in the Reds' ballpark is even more impressive. He's actually pitched much better at home (1.55 ERA) than on the road (4.21 ERA) this year.
Getting Cueto will not be easy or cheap, so perhaps the Dodgers shy away from trading some of their prospects and go in a different direction. Of the names listed above, I'd lean more towards the American League guys than the National League ones.
Kazmir will also not come cheap, though I can't imagine his price will be as high as Cueto's. Perhaps the Dodgers will look to replace their original #3 lefty starter Hyun-Jin Ryu with another lefty. Kazmir's last couple of starts haven't been pretty, and his walks are starting to pile up, so that's something to keep an eye on.
I'd put Chavez and Gallardo on the next level, as either one of them can be pretty good. Gallardo is the more experienced one if that makes a difference. I'm just not sure the Rangers will be sellers because in the AL West, it's unlikely the Astros continue to play so well. The Rangers can quietly make their move, and with Yu Darvish done for the season, Gallardo is arguably their best starter.
Chavez has only been a consistent starter since last season, as he was mostly a reliever since breaking in with the Pirates in 2008. I only know him from being on one of my fantasy teams, but in looking at this numbers, he's only given up a couple of home runs and 13 walks in nearly 44 innings. So, he doesn't let many people on base, or to circle the bases. I can see him coming in and becoming a solid starter towards the back end of the rotation.