I will begin this post by stating the caveat that I know the offseason is not done, that it is only the 12th of December. The Dodgers front office is not done trying to make this team better, and that more moves are yet to come. But the fact that the Dodgers did not sign any of the Top 3 free agents this winter is a little mystifying.
I can give a pass to the Dodgers not signing Stephen Strasburg. Although he opted out of his contract with Washington, it was pretty evident that he was going to return to the team that drafted him for an even bigger payday.
Gerrit Cole, again, I’m not quite so mad about. The Dodgers did actually offer the biggest contract they’ve ever offered a free agent, $300M over eight years. Reportedly, the Yankees put the full court press on Cole, bringing in former players and the owner Hal Steinbrenner to close the deal. I don’t know what the Dodgers could have reasonably done, as the Yankees were not going to be denied in getting their man. And, it seemed all along that Cole wanted to be a Yankee, anyway.
So that brings us to Anthony Rendon. There has been talk about the Dodgers bringing in a new third baseman since October. Justin Turner had been consulted about a possible move to first base, the big brass said, and he was okay with this possibility. While the Dodgers were also said to be interested in Josh Donaldson, Rendon was THE third baseman out there. He’s proven himself to produce in the playoffs, wields a steady right-handed bat and is a great clubhouse guy. He checks all the boxes.
So why was there no offer made? It was reported that the Dodgers felt that Rendon didn’t want to play in Los Angeles. What gave them that impression? It obviously was wrong, since he signed with the Angels in Anaheim, unless he stated that he specifically did not want to play for the Dodgers.
I suppose in the coming days that it may come out specifically why the Dodgers didn’t even feel like they would offer a contract. But something feels a bit off to me. Heck, they even made an offer to Bryce Harper last winter, knowing that it would not be enough to sign him.
Nationals fans are grieving the loss of Rendon. Dodger fans are grieving the thought of their front office actually doing anything that would make a huge splash, giving confidence to their fans that after seven-straight failed attempts at wining the World Series, they are serious now about winning one.
I also am not all that excited about who is left in free agency, and who the Dodgers are rumored to be interested in. Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the top starting pitchers out there to be signed. While signing Bumgarner would have so many other implications, he and Keuchel are past their prime and leave much to be desired. They would be a third or fourth starter for the Dodgers, who really need another stud pitcher behind Walker Buehler to propel them to the World Series.
The Dodgers are not being heavily linked to Ryu after he just spent his whole U.S. career with them makes me wonder if the Dodgers know something about him that they’re not letting on.
And, don’t get me started on the rumors that the Dodgers are in on Josh Hader. While he was dominant in 2018 and early 2019, he was prone to giving up the lead and the long ball as the season went on, and his past transgression with his homophobic and racist tweets don’t seem to fit the type of player the Dodgers sign.
Hopefully, I will be writing another post later today about how the Dodgers have made a big trade. No, it doesn’t even need to be today, it can be a week or two weeks from now. But please, front office, show me something. Both Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman are on the record saying that the roster is going to change, that the team could look drastically different come Spring Training.
Dodgers fans are waiting.