By Howard Cole
COMMENTARY| Sing it with me now. All I want for Christmas is my two front-of-the-rotation starters.
Well, the Los Angeles Dodgers have their two front-of-the-rotation starters all right. By signing Zack Greinke on Saturday to follow the National League's top pitcher in Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles has its best one-two left-right combination since Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. And they didn't even have to bust a holdout to get it done. A tidy $147 million did the trick.
The Greinke deal is pending the obligatory physical, of course, but when have you ever heard of the pending physical nixing a deal? L.A. has its wanted man.
Wasting no time, the Dodgers brought South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin into the fold Sunday for six years at $36 million, which is on top of the $25.74 million posting fee paid to the Hanwha Eagles for the bidding rights. Though agent Scott Boras projects his client to be a No. 3 starter, where Ryu fits into the rotation is anyone's guess. How the 26-year-old Korean Baseball Organization veteran's numbers translate to the majors is even more of a question, but the club has followed Ryu's career closely, and if they're confident, I am too.
In Kerhsaw, Greinke, Ryu, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, L.A. has eight starters under contract for next year. Kershaw seems to have dodged a bullet with a balky hip that caused him to miss a couple of late-2012 starts, and Billingsley is hoping a platelet-rich plasma injection cures his elbow issues, but the Dodgers might want to keep an extra arm in reserve for the time being. Or two.
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