A Quick Look at a Few Free Agents the Dodgers Could Target

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Today in the baseball world, teams and players had to decide if they would extend qualifying offers or opt out of their current contracts, respectively. The Dodgers only had one player in this category—Kenley Jansen, who last week decided that he will chose to stay in Los Angeles for his last two years of his contract.

The Dodgers should be looking to upgrade their squad for next season. So which newly-free agents could be on the Dodgers radar?

Of course, we can start with the really big names, those of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. Cole was at the end of his contract with the Astros after being acquired from the Pirates, and Strasburg opted out of his remaining contract with the Nationals. Both these arms are next-level good, and would certainly be game changers come playoff time. But will the Dodgers spend the big bucks to give their rotation a huge boost? History says no, as the Dodgers tend not to sign the big name free agents for long-term mega money. The Dodgers already have a decent rotation, even without Cy Young finalist Hyun-Jin Ryu. I would absolutely love to see either Cole or Strasburg in Dodger Blue, but I give it a very small chance of happening.

We discussed the possibility of signing Anthony Rendon a couple weeks ago. I don’t think there is a huge chance of that happening either, although again, Rendon’s another player that I would love to see on the team.

A possible lower-level acquisition could be righty pitcher Zack Wheeler. The former Met doesn’t seem like a flashy signing, but he’s coming off his lowest walk rate, walking 2.4 per nine innings and striking out one per inning. Projections have him coming in about four years and $90 million. The competition for him will be fierce, but I’m sure the Dodgers will definitely be doing their due diligence on him.

The best outfielder on the market is Nicholas Castellanos, but the Dodgers are not really in the market for another outfielder right now, especially since the signing of A.J. Pollock hasn’t worked out so well up until this point.

Will Smith, the reliever, is conceivably the best bullpen arm out there for the taking. He would be most likely looking for a three to four year deal worth $35-40 million and has a qualifying offer attached to him. I’m sure the Dodgers will be in on him, but most likely won’t put up that much for a reliever.

Drew Pomeranz is a once starter-turned reliever who dominated in his new role in the second half of 2019. He struck out half the batters he faced. Small sample size for sure, but someone the Dodgers could definitely sign at a reasonable rate and use to their advantage.

Many of these free agents are represented by Scott Boras, a big proponent of opt outs. The Dodgers would be one team that could use this to their advantage. They could offer a bigger AAV, for just a few years and allow the player to test the market again in a shorter time.

The Dodgers front office is creative and hopefully will use the last three years as incentive to make a significant signing this off season.


34 thoughts on “A Quick Look at a Few Free Agents the Dodgers Could Target

  1. Andy, you should read the story about free agents and where they might sign. It is on MLBrumors.com. They only have the Dodgers signing 2 of the top 50 free agents. Drew Pomeranz, and Rich Hill. Pomeranz getting a 2 year 16 million dollar deal and Hill on for 6 mil. They have Ryu going to Texas, Strasburg and Rendon staying in DC, Cole going to the Rangers.

    1. Also that site is wrong more than they’re right, but I agree the Dodgers won’t make any huge signings

      1. Most sites are. I remember last off season, most had Harper coming to LA for sure. But nobody saw the Pollock or Kelly deals coming.

      2. I had both Kelly and Pollock coming here. I made my prediction 1/2 hour after the signings were announced. I learned that from Scoop. Always zig when they zag.

      3. You are a true genius Jefe, you should be running the team with astute picks like that.

    2. Quick correction Bear – they have Cole going to the Angels.
      I’m all in on Pomeranz. Do it! That said, he and Hill might be some duplication because Hill only comes back as a reliever and spot starter. And Dick Mountain will come a lot cheaper. I hope to see one of those two guys in Dodger Blue next spring.

      1. No news since the end of the year. He is supposed to be on the mend. I think the big problem has not been the oblique, but his back. Those are always an iffy proposition. Yeah, I screwed that up Jefe…

      2. I want them to bring in a catcher, any catcher, I am so over seeing Barnes back there.

    1. Larry, according to the Dodgers web site, Verdugo was activated off of the 10 day IL on September 30th. He was reassigned to OKC on the 3rd of October. He is on the 40 man roster, but not the 25. As for his back problem, there has been no update

  2. Another chance at the Hall for Garvey and Tommy John, along with Miller, Munson, Dale Murphy, Mattingly, Lou Whitaker, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Dwight Evans. I think Garv is a definite long shot. Murph and Munson might make it as might Miller.

  3. Belli and Ryu make the final 3 on the MVP and Cy Young ballots. Ryu, Scherzer and deGrom, Belli, Yelli and Rendon

  4. Zig Zag. Brings back some memories.

    I would give up a pick and sign Wheeler. Then sign Pomeranz. Then the usual infirmary signings, my pick is Betances, maybe the A’s would give us Treinen, and we’re done til the deadline. Won’t hurt to stay several million below the cap so we can afford the expensive guy that will be available and in demand at the end of July. That’s what I would do. Friedman won’t do any of that. Oh, he’ll find a broken low risk high reward player or two, but not Betances.

    1. Those four guys are all on my list too, but you’d really have to hold your breath with both Treinen (assuming the A’s would trade him for something reasonable) and Betances (assuming he’d be willing to sign a one year contract). With both coming back from injuries it would be another high risk-high reward scenario. Just imagine our bullpen with healthy/performing Treinen and Betances added to it. Just imagine our sadness with both those guys going out with serious injuries in April. You rolls the dice and you takes your chances.

  5. I do not have a list. I just do not sign anyone who has Boras for an agent. So long Hyun Jin, you have been an asset when healthy, I just do not trust you to stay healthy through a 3 to 4 year deal. MLB rumors seems to think that the best Puig will do is a 1 year deal. He would be perfect in Miami, with all those Cuban’s living there. A hometown hero, but he and DM were not on the best of terms. I think Belli squeezes out the MVP award, and Ryu loses to Scherzer. I do not resign Hill even as a reliever. Pitching guru maybe, but i do not want that falling apart body taking up space and keeping one of the kids off the roster. I would use Ferguson as a trade piece. I do not believe he will ever be a starter here, and he is too erratic out of the pen. We will see here very shortly who they will non tender.

    1. I have a list every year but that fat bastard Santa has ignored it for decades.

      Of the top 50 free agents MLB Rumors has us signing only Pomeranz and Hill. Yeah, that’ll put us over the top.

      The bears have the right idea. Just sleep until pitchers and catchers report.

    2. I find it very hard to believe that Puig won’t get more than 1 year from someone. He’s pretty much established what he is by now, meaning he’s not going to be an All Star, but he’s been a decent hitter and reliable outfielder (his defense has slipped a bit in the last couple of years). I’m convinced that some team will give him 2 or 3 years. The Reds liked him, the Indians liked him and both still have need for a reasonably priced outfielder, as do other teams.

      1. All the comments I’ve heard about him since he left have been either neutral or positive, from teammates as well as management.

      2. I haven’t heard much. Which is nice actually

        Just read on Twitter

        “What 3 things would you like to see the Dodgers do this off season”

        The top answers appear to be:

        1. Fire Roberts
        2. Get somebody who can pitch
        3. Fire Roberts
        4. Get somebody who can hit
        5. Fire Roberts

        That about sums it up from the Twitiverse

        But what can you expect from Twits?

      3. You got that right!
        These people act like we’ve finished last five years in a row. Yeah, we haven’t won a World Series since the Ice Age, but we get treated to good baseball every year.
        How would these people like to be Orioles or Pirates fans?
        How would they feel if they knew on June 1st every year that the season was over?
        I do think that AF intends to do something pretty dramatic this off season, contrary to some of you other folks who think it will be off-season as usual. Of course he tried very hard to get Vazquez in July and the Pirates wouldn’t cooperate so at least we know he isn’t likely to do something stupid. Winter Meetings in about a month. The clock is ticking.

      4. Yeah, I thought that was kind of strange also. But if anything Yasiel is a lightning rod. I just do not believe he will ever really get it. I wished that the Dodgers could have found a way to keep Juan Uribe in the organization because he was a mentor to Puig, and the kid was in less trouble when Juan was around. I think he was the one player that Roberts did not really get through to.

      5. I think Roberts did a lot better with Puig than Mattingly did. He seems to mature a little every year and he’s certainly worth a 2-3 year contract to some team.

      6. I really think he stays in the AL. I doubt the Giants would go after him even thought they need outfield help, and the Cardinals are trying hard to extend Ozuna. So the AL makes sense.

      7. I think he might actually make sense for the Giants. They need outfielders and they need people who can cover the spacious outfield in SF. This is why their signing someone like Castellanos doesn’t make a lot of sense. At least YP is a good outfielder. On the other hand you have a hated Dodger turning up in a Giants uni and I have no idea how Farhan felt about him when they were both here. At the right price I think Farhan might give it a shot but I’m guessing that Puig will have a number of offers to choose from. For example, Abreu would make a great mentor with the Chisox.

  6. The fire Roberts rhetoric has not abated at all. I would like to see the Dodgers finally sign a free agent who would really impact the team. Who that might be at this point, I do not know. But someone who can make the team better. Cole would, so would Rendon. But the price will probably be too high for AF to even consider. Lacking that, how about an out of the box trade that jettisons some redundant pieces and brings a solid offensive force. Even getting a premier arm would be nice. But alas, I think we are going to have to settle for the Daniel Hudson’s of the world.

    1. We aren’t getting Cole, Rendon and Strasburg are rumored staying in DC, Wheeler is rumored to the Phillies @ 4 and $100m, Odorizzi rumored to Minnesota @ 3 and $51m. Apparently we’re chopped liver. We can afford Cole but I’m fine with him going to the Angels until he’s 37. I doubt they win with him and Trout sucking all the air out of Anaheim. Maybe Wheeler and Odorizzi don’t like the West Coast. It kinda sucks out here at a fixed low income but those guys incomes are fixed at an extremely high rate. It’s pretty freakin cool to be rich out here guys. You might want to consider it. Plus there’s the whole shot at a ring thing.

      Unless you ski or go ice fishing winter sucks.

  7. I’m with Jeff, I think AF will do something more than he does in a usual off season. I see us getting an impact player, if Andrew says he is going to shake things up a little I believe him.
    I’ll make sure I keep my fingers away from the bear cage I don’t want to get bit😀

    Hey all you old timers, I remember a restaurant in Torrance called the Zig Zag. Was there a chain of them? I was pretty young so I’m not sure.

  8. I’m not much of a wheeler guy, he’s been hurt an awful lot during his career, I’d hate to give up a first round pick for someone who is often injured.

  9. Watch what you wish for about not signing Boras players bear, I’m pretty sure bellinger is a Boras client.

  10. I hold out hope that the Dodgers will open the checkbook for EXCEPTIONAL players. Cole & Strasburg definitely are that type of player. Maybe even Rendon.

    They’ve cleared the deck of past contracts, with only one non-player still being paid (I think). Don’t you think their business plan calls for opening the checkbook for the right player(s)?

  11. They have money to spend drake, and I hope you’re hope comes true. I wonder if the money ownership is spending on the stadium will have anything to do with next seasons budget

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