We’ve reached that time of year, the one that most baseball fans have looked forward to for months. No one liked last season where the biggest free agents waited until February and March to make their decisions of where their new homes would be.
This year’s Winter Meetings show promise of being a little more active than the last several years. Several free agents have signed with new teams already, and a couple trades have already gone down.
On the Dodgers front, there was a new tweet by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY this morning on what the front office’s thought process might be at the moment. He stated that Joc Pederson, who had been discussed as a possible trade candidate the last few seasons, was still in those same discussions. But, new to the rumors this winter are A.J. Pollock and Enrique Hernandez being available at the right price.
I’ve long thought that Kiké or Chris Taylor, for his part, would be attractive to other teams, as they both are so versatile on the field, and could be a starter or just as good off the bench. Hernandez is due for a pay raise via arbitration in 2020, and if the Dodgers do make Max Muncy a full-time second baseman, there isn’t much need for both Kiké and CT3.
But it’s interesting to me that Pollock is being shopped, just one year after the Dodgers made him their biggest offseason acquisition. One wonders if it’s because the Dodgers regret that decision, or if they would like to trade for someone along the lines of say, one Mookie Betts. (Do I think this is happening? No. Would I like it to? Heck yes). Pollock would probably be hard to move because of both his salary and his injury history.
The other little tidbit in Nightengale’s tweet was that the Dodgers are not really in on Gerrit Cole, but are definitely in on Anthony Rendon. Rumor is that the New York Yankees have decided that they want Cole, and no one else is going to get him but them. They have reportedly offered him a contract at seven years, worth $245M. That seems like a contract that the Dodgers could match easily, and given the Southern California connection, Cole could choose Los Angeles over New York. They could also offer slightly more or even an eighth year, with an early opt out for both sides. I think maybe they are ‘out’ on Cole for appearances only and might be silently working in talks with him, seeing as Stephen Strasburg is rumored to be likely to sign back with Washington.
The Dodgers are seemingly very much in the market for a new third baseman, from their interest in both Rendon and Josh Donaldson. As reported before, Justin Turner is open to moving to first in his final year of his contract.
Maybe as a fall back, maybe because they want him back, Jon Heyman has said that the Dodgers are interested in bringing back Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins are also rumored to be highly interested in the Cy Young Finalist.
So here we are. Dodgers are in on everyone, and every other team wants Gavin Lux involved in a trade. Fans all over are praying that by the end of this week, there will be at least one new addition to the Dodgers’ 2020 season roster.