I, like many of you, miss baseball a lot right now. It’s been two weeks since Game 7, and I finally feel ready to move forward, but spring training doesn’t start for three months. Until February, we have the holidays, we have the joy of winter, and we have offseason trades and free agent signings. Though the offseason is not nearly as riveting as Game 7, it’s still something, and it’s worth getting excited about. In the past, my predictions as to who the Dodgers would sign have been, for the most part, incorrect and conventional.
If 2017 proved anything, it’s that the Dodgers are good at changing the game. I like being surprised, which is why I won’t be surprised if my 2018 predictions turn out to be wrong. The Dodgers already have a good roster—a world championship roster—but it can always get better.
2017 was just the beginning for this team.
Trying to predict the free agent market is like trying to predict the weather—there’s almost an equal chance of being right or wrong, and that’s what makes it so fun. I rather like it when it rains when it looks like it’s going to be sunny. It’s interesting, and it’s real.
First, a few free agent predictions:
The Dodgers will re-sign Brandon Morrow—I think that Brandon Morrow is like this winter’s version of Rich Hill last year; he proved during the season that he can be great for the Dodgers and can help pitch them into the postseason. Similarly, the asking price will be high, but he would be worth every penny.
The Dodgers won’t sign Yu Darvish—If the Dodgers don’t sign Yu Darvish, I don’t think Game 7 will play much of a role in the decision. If Darvish had won the game, and the Dodgers were crowned World Champions, I definitely think it would have been a major factor in bringing him back, but I don’t think a loss seals his fate with Los Angeles, either. Personally, I would like another lights-out starter in the rotation, and if that’s Darvish, I am perfectly okay with it. I liked Darvish as a Dodger, but I’m not sure he’ll be one in 2018.
Tony Watson will re-sign with the Dodgers—Tony Watson was great after coming over from Pittsburgh, and I always felt confident when he jogged out of the bullpen. Re-signing Watson would help keep the Dodgers bullpen strong, and I have confidence that, come Opening Day, he’ll be walking out on to the field in a Dodgers uniform.
The Dodgers won’t trade for Giancarlo Stanton, but neither will the Giants—There have been rumors that the Giants are one of the teams pursuing the Marlins slugger via trade. There haven’t been many reports linking the Dodgers to Stanton, but I don’t think the Giants will sign him, either. Stanton could still be great in the National League, but I think he should play for an American League team. Stanton can play right field incredibly well, but should he not start in right one day, the DH will give him a chance to still have multiple at-bats in a game.
The Dodgers 2018 Opening Day 25-Man Roster Projections:
Anything can happen between now and Opening Day, but the 2017 postseason is going to have an impact on what happens moving forward. During this year’s playoffs, specific plays and matchups worked out that will go on to help the Dodgers in 2018, and even if big free agent signings and trades aren’t made, the Dodgers will still be in a really good place.
Even though spring is still a ways away, the countdown to Opening Day has already begun, and there is plenty to look forward to.
(FOLLOW SARAH ON TWITTER: @SARAHMANINGER)