3. Reds could trade for Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler & sign him to an extension
Walker Buehler, unlike Sonny Gray, never played under the tutelage of Derek Johnson while he was at Vanderbilt University. But those Vandy ties run deep, and the Cincinnati Reds would love to have a frontline starter like Walker Buehler in their rotation.
Buehler, of course, would come with a major red flag. The right-hander underwent a second Tommy John surgery last year and needed surgery to repair a flexor tendon. While there was some hope that Buehler would return to the mound in 2023, after just one rehab start, he was shutdown for the rest of the season.
The Dodgers are going to be one of the more interesting teams to watch this offseason. LA is obviously in the mix for Shohei Ohtani, and also have Clayton Kershaw entering free agency once again.
The Dodgers are also likely to part with Julio Urias, Dustin May underwent surgery this past July, and Tony Gonsolin underwent Tommy John surgery in August. Will the Dodgers hang their hat on Buehler coming back in 2024 or look to part company this offseason.
Buehler will be a free agent after next season. From 2019-2021, Buehler was one of the best pitchers in the National League with a 2.89 ERA and 469 punch outs during those three seasons. Twice during that timeframe, Buehler finished in the Top 10 of the NL Cy Young vote. This is the quintessential high-risk/ high-reward move.