At the non-waiver trade deadline, they all say that the team that makes a big move will be the team putting themselves in the best position to win in October. Well, winter is no exception. The free agent market this year is interesting, and there are some big names out there—players that contenders need to sign.
The Dodgers need to make a big move, and I think they will.
No, the Los Angeles Dodgers did not win the World Series, but that doesn’t mean the team is ready to fall apart. The greatness of the 2017 Dodgers will soon blend into 2018 and all will be great once more. Of the Dodgers seven free agents, which include Brandon Morrow, Tony Watson, Curtis Granderson, Franklin Gutierrez, Chase Utley, Andre Ethier and Yu Darvish, the word has not been given yet as to who, if anyone, will be returning. The Dodgers decided not to pick up Ethier’s 2018 team option, making him a free agent. This doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be in a Dodgers uniform come April, but it doesn’t guarantee it, either.
Logan Forsythe, however, will be returning to the Dodgers in 2018, barring a trade.
There are a lot of big-name free agents out there, including right-handed starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, who is likely to turn down the qualifying offer he received from the Cubs on Monday.
The Dodgers signing Arrieta would be a huge advantage going into the 2018 season, but should that not happen, there is another pitcher out there the Dodgers should pursue—Wade Davis.
Davis, who was the closer for the Chicago Cubs this year, had one of the best seasons of his career. Should the Dodgers not bring Morrow back, Davis would be a very capable setup man for Kenley Jansen and could close in games when Jansen needs a day off.
Signing Davis would be big for the Dodgers. He would be another piece of what was already one of the strongest bullpens in baseball in 2017. The Dodgers need at least two of three things heading into 2018—another reliever, another starter, and another power bat in the middle of the lineup.
Should the Dodgers sign Davis, and possibly Lorenzo Cain, who has received an offer from Kansas City, the Dodgers will be serious contenders heading into 2018.
The 2018 playoffs could potentially be influenced by the activity of clubs this winter. Teams could trade, and sign, and set themselves up for an unprecedented run in 2018. There will undoubtedly be some big names at the center of all the 2018 trade rumors, and the climate could change once again come July 31st, but that is a long way off. If the Dodgers, and the Yankees, and the Astros want to make it back to the postseason, along with the five other teams that will be there, they have to sign players and set the tone for 2018.
The Dodgers are fully capable of contending in 2018—there are zero signs that say otherwise—but they can always get better.
This offseason is extremely important, especially after a season like the one we just saw. The Dodgers will be fine either way, but they intend on going deep into the playoffs in 2018, and I think we all want the same.
This is the offseason, this is a time in which baseball fans recover, and prepare for the following year.
Baseball never stops, and it is always changing. Free agency and the offseason is simply another chapter of the story.
And, from what I have seen so far, it’s bound to be pretty interesting.
(Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahManinger)