If there are two things we learned at this year’s GM Meetings about the Dodgers‘ plans for 2020, it’s that the team is open to snagging a third baseman on the free agent market, coupled with the belief that front office boss Andrew Friedman is happy with his internal options when considering a possible starting rotation.
Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times covered the activities of the Dodgers at this week’s meetings in Scottsdale. He was the first to report the club’s possible interest in free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson on Wednesday. Apparently, the team intends on making a run at Anthony Rendon, but it appears as though Donaldson could be an alternative.
Incumbent third baseman Justin Turner has reportedly agreed to a potential move to first base, if indeed there’s a roster upgrade made.
On Thursday, Friedman explained to Castillo the framework he had in mind for the 2020 starting rotation. Conceivably, Julio Urias will be returning to the starting five after primarily throwing in relief last season. The 23-year-old lefty missed nearly all of the 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
According to Castillo, the rotation will be anchored by Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda. It has been said that Ross Stripling will “have a chance” to make the Opening Day rotation, with youngsters Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May also in the picture.
It might also be worth mentioning that players like Dennis Santana, Caleb Ferguson, Josh Sborz and Jordan Sheffield will be lurking on the minor league fringes. All of these players have been floated back and forth between starting and relief roles during their young careers, and it should be interesting to see which course they’re on to begin their respective 2020 campaigns.
There was no reference to either Hyun-Jin Ryu or Rich Hill at the meetings, at least regarding the Dodgers. Both free agent left-handers have expressed interest in staying in Los Angeles. Theoretically, Ryu could slide back into the one or two slot, but Hill would certainly be more of a high-risk signing considering his history of injuries.
Ryu, represented by Scott Boras, is evidently seeking a contract upwards of four years, but some pundits feel that he might be able to be signed for three years, particularly when taking into account his own injury pedigree.
Ryu finished second in the 2019 National League Cy Young Award voting behind Jacob deGrom of the Mets.
There have been a few whispers of Los Angeles showing interest in free agent starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, although many feel the righty is seeking a contract well beyond the comfort zone of Friedman.
As far as the winter Hot Stove goes, the next big event is the 2019 Winter Meetings. This year’s venue will be at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego and will take place December 8-12.