With all the regular season awards having been handed out, we are officially into the offseason. Here at Think Blue Planning Committee, that means the return of Fan Fridays. Our first installment begins with what fans see as the most important off season move the Dodgers‘ front office should make.
Surprisingly, although there has been much discussion about it, there was not one person who replied with “trade for Stanton.” Giancarlo Stanton, he of the Miami Marlins, and this year’s recipient of the NL MVP award, is said to be one of the players the Marlins see as trading to rebuild their roster. The huge slugger sent a mere 59 pitches over stadium walls this year, had 132 RBI and a 1.007 OPS. The problem with Giancarlo is his contract. He is currently signed for 10 years, $295M. That’s too hefty a contract for most teams to take on.
The Dodgers would be one team that would be able to do it, conceivably. They have a lot of excess payroll coming off the roster soon, and they have the farm system to be able to send to Miami what would be a fair exchange. Stanton also has a no trade clause, and has stated that Los Angeles is number one on his wish list of places to land. A lot would have to happen for this to take place, though, and as fun as it is to imagine Stanton in the lineup with Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig et al, he is an extra, not a must have. I have a hard time believing he will end up in L.A., but the front office has surprised me before.
There were a few mentions of re-signing Yu Darvish, or signing Japanese phenom Shohei Otani. Darvish had both a rough start and ending to his limited time in Los Angeles, but the middle part gives hope that he could be a solid part of the rotation for the next few years. More time working with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt could help with his pitch tipping issues. He has started that his time with the Dodgers has reignited his love of the game, and he would be very happy to return.
Otani is a very hot offseason commodity, having been granted the posting issues get resolved. The Japanese pitcher can throw in excess of 100 MPH, and loves hitting, posting a .322 BA with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2017. He also plays some outfield. Who wouldn’t want a player of that caliber?
But the overwhelming amount of answers about what the Dodgers number one focus of the offseason should be was to re-sign reliever Brandon Morrow. After years of being a starter and struggling with injuries, Morrow has finally come into his own, having a fabulous season with the Dodgers. He had a 6-0 record and a 2.06 ERA, and was an absolute workhorse out of the bullpen and into the playoffs, appearing in every game except for one, including all seven World Series games.
Morrow could provide the consistent bridge to closer Kenley Jansen that the Dodgers need. Now that starters are going five to six innings more often than going seven to eight, an elite bullpen is needed more than ever. Morrow, along with the other relievers the Dodgers currently have could provide that.
Other clubs are interested of course, namely the Chicago Cubs who would be interested in making Morrow their closer. That role could be more appealing to the righty, although he did tell MLB Radio that “all things being equal, I’d probably be going back to the Dodgers.” As the Hot Stove has not yet begun to heat up, it will be interesting to see how everything plays out.
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