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The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.
That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson. By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.
Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.
This franchise has stood idly by while the two other top clubs in the Division have made great strides to improve. The path they are on is not wise.
I wrote an article yesterday that featured all of the players who may have their contract expire at the end of 2016. All of these players should be investigated on.
This club is too close to a championship to pull off the financial reigns yet. LA should take advantage of a flawed Salary Tax penalty system for one more before it may evaporate in the new CBA to be bargained on after next campaign.
It is not just their Division that has improved. The Cubs have brought in Jason Heyward, John Lackey, while the Mets and Nats have continued to acquire guys on their Rosters to help make the playoffs.
This looks bad to a team that has the richest TV contract in the game, plus the highest attendance capability in the Majors.
Everyone knew that the new regime of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi were going to take a different approach than what Ned Colletti had done, but this is borderline ridiculous.
There is still time to rescue this mission. The Dodgers need to throw their hat in the ring with several players remaining on the board.
Yoenis Cespedes should top that board. He wouldn’t have been my original choice to upgrade the roster. But he could be an awesome addition for that squad.
Also, how come Andre Ethier can’t be dangled as a trade piece? The longtime Dodgers player is only guaranteed $37.5 MIL more over the next 2 years, which seems not a bad for a guy who has a .823 OPS for his career – including a mark of .852 last season.
No matter if the club doesn’t sign an OF or not, they really need to explore at least 1 – 2 Starting Pitchers and plenty of Bullpen help.
Beyond Clayton Kershaw, the rest of the rotation is now scary. Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming back from a season ending injury, Brett Anderson has had problems in the past with injuries, and Brandon McCarthy wont be available until mid 2016 coming back from Tommy John Surgery.
Alex Wood is a steady #4 or #5 guy, but really he could be pressed into a bigger role by default.
Yes the club has young Julio Urias, to potentially come in and eat some innings with, but sometimes prospects don’t pitch as well when you need them to.
The Dodgers are supposed to contend for a World Series after all.
This organization should still try to sign 1 – 2 relievers. Bobby Parnell and Tommy Hunter are two flamethrowing righties the club could look to, or maybe they will opt for a guy like a Craig Stammen or Jeremy Affeldt. Whatever the case, they would be wise to add some arms.
Chris Hatcher, Carlos Frias, Ian Thomas and Joe Wieland are also on the Depth Chart presently. Again, not horrific by any means, but when you are contending for a World Series, you need really good late inning arms.
If Los Angeles is able to sign another Infielder, it would mean they have a strong bench again. Carl Crawford, Justin Turner – or Chase Utley, Alex Guerrero, Enrique Hernandez, A.J. Ellis and Scott Van Slyke are all hardly slouches.
The management could also see fit to do some dealing. They have been rumored to be eyeballing Jake Odorizzi out of Tampa Bay. There could be some young Infielders headed back Tampa’s way for his services.
Guerrero also is out of options and could be another guy on the trade block. One also might wonder what the club could get for a trade involving Yasiel Puig.
I may hold off on trading low on Puig. Maybe Dave Roberts can get the best out of him yet.
There is always that threat of a Jose Fernandez trade involving Puig and Urias as part of a package that nets him. This may see the light of day before the year is out. Although it may take 2 or 3 more prospects involved to finalize a deal like that.
Don’t also count out the A’s for jumping into a deal like that midway through the year for Sonny Gray either. Puig’s contract is not that bad of a deal for a team like Oakland – while Sonny Gray may cost $50 MIL over 3 seasons of Arbitration if he keeps pitching well.
If Pederson can emerge like he did in the 1st half of last year, than the club could function without Puig. Ethier could play RF – and Crawford and Van Slyke could platoon in LF.
Point is. The Dodgers are about an 86 – 88 win team right now as constructed. I would handicap them parallel to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West, and a few victories shy of the San Francisco Giants.
Lets just see if they can’t pull a 2014 Baltimore Orioles maneuver by proving everyone wrong via a Division win.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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