Depending on how you look at it, the Dodgers either missed out or dodged a financial mess in not signing Bryce Harper. The Dodgers flew to Vegas to meet with the well-coiffed free agent, reportedly offering him $45 million per year for either three or four years.
When it came down to it, Harper wanted to be with one team for the rest of his career, and that’s his prerogative, and good for him for achieving that. The Dodgers were never going to offer 13 years, and as such, Harper was never going to be a Dodger, regardless of how many reports there were that Los Angeles was where he really wanted to play.
It will be debated for awhile whether the Dodgers should have bit the bullet and offered the years to Bryce, but the fact that they didn’t leaves the door open for a multitude of other players and scenarios for the future. Not for Nolan Arenado, who chose to sign an extension with the Colorado Rockies, but there are many very good players down the line who will soon be free agents, not to mention the players that are already Dodgers that they would like to keep.
But are there any free agents still available that the Dodgers front office should be interested in? Perhaps a staring pitcher in case Kershaw’s shoulder is worse than reported. Or another back end reliever to lighten the load for Kenley?
The Dodgers are built to handle an injury to a starting pitcher, Kershaw or otherwise. But should they feel they would like another arm, the two best available are Dallas Kuechel and Gio Gonzalez. Kuechel was 12-11 last season with a 3.74 ERA, and a 1.314 WHIP. He could be a good innings eater, coming in last season with 204.2 innings pitched. Gonzalez for his part has seen his stuff diminish over the last few seasons, and went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA last season. The Dodgers last saw him in the NLCS when they chased him from the game after three innings of work. Kuechel is a former Cy Young winner, and Gonzalez was a finalist. Possibly a little Honey working with them could help?
Craig Kimbrel is the biggest name out there for relievers. The Dodgers last faced him in the postseason, when he allowed a two-run homer to Enrique Hernandez in the World Series and was famously mocked by Mary Hart behind home plate. He wants to be a closer, but maybe could be talked into an eighth inning guy ahead of Jansen with some closing opportunities.
So no, when you look at the numbers and think about the current makeup of the team, there aren’t really any free agents that the Dodgers front office should be pursuing. Unless. Unless players are tired of not having signed with a team yet, and the Dodgers get creative. I’m all for another reliever, especially since that has been the Dodgers’ weakness in the playoffs (besides that pesky not hitting thing). I don’t see the Dodgers doing any more moves, but I also won’t be surprised if they do.