The Los Angeles Dodgers may target Johnny Cueto in free agency along with the Giants, Nationals and Cardinals after missing out on David Price and Zack Greinke, who left LA to sign with the Diamondbacks. The team reportedly has cooled on a trade for Aroldis Chapman, while deals for Andrew Miller and Yasiel Puig are looking unlikely.
The Dodgers had interest in retaining Greinke, but the team was unwilling to go to a high enough salary to keep him and now they could be looking at Cueto as a replacement. According to Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, the Dodgers were not one of the early teams in on Cueto, but now that Greinke and Price are off the board, the team may go after Cueto to help bolster the starting rotation behind Clayton Kershaw.
Cueto is considered to be one of the top starters left on the market and he could come in a bit cheaper than Greinke, who signed a $206 million deal with the Diamondbacks. Cueto reportedly rejected a $120 million, six-year offer from the Diamondbacks, so he likely will be looking for at least $150 million on a new deal. Heyman reports that the Giants, Nationals, Cardinals and Royals as well as the Orioles are interested in Cueto and also could offer him a deal.
Cueto was inconsistent last season, but he is younger than Greinke at 29 and while he may not be that caliber of a pitcher, he still is very talented and has a solid career ERA at 3.30. The Dodgers have already added Hisashi Iwakuma to the rotation on a deal for some depth behind Kershaw, but the team needs to find a way to replace Greinke, who helped the Dodgers have the best 1-2 punch in baseball among starting pitchers. The fact that Greinke remains in the division could add even more pressure to the Dodgers to find a replacement.
The Dodgers reportedly had a deal in place for Aroldis Chapman with the Reds, but after reports came out that he was involved in an alleged domestic violence incident, the team has cooled on that deal. Chapman reportedly has interest from the Nationals as well. Heyman writes that the Dodgers were interested in Andrew Miller with the Yankees, but the Yankees asking price for the closer was too high for the team.
The Dodgers have reportedly received some interest in Yasiel Puig this offseason, but the team is not currently close to making any deals. Heyman writes that Dodgers want to "try to reach" Puig and get him back to the level he was at a couple years ago. An article in Bleacher Report released this week details some of the issues surrounding Puig, with one player calling him out anonymously as a clubhouse issue. Adrian Gonzalez defended Puig in the article and right now it looks like the Dodgers are planning on keeping the outfielder for the near future.