Are Dodgers Finished Player Shopping for the Winter?

(NBC Los Angeles photo)

As the steam from this winter’s hot stove has seemingly subsided, hopefully the anger and frustration resulting from the Houston and Boston scandals follow suit. The fallout from these improprieties has been especially hurtful to all those affiliated with the Dodgers, but like anything else, perhaps the coaching staff and the players can try to turn these negatives into positives, producing a boundless energy that will lead them to success during the upcoming campaign.

Even though these sign-stealing scandals have dominated the news, one secondary subject among fans of the Dodgers has been whether or not the team is finished making additions to the player roster. While there were a few additions, none of them were deemed to be overwhelming by any standards.

Nevertheless, all three of the newest Dodgers—Blake Treinen, Jimmy Nelson and Alex Wood—do indeed have the capabilities of making significant impacts in 2020. In the case of Treinen, it’s just a matter of recapturing the mojo he had during his 2018 campaign (which might be a tall task) when he posted a ridiculous 0.78 ERA and 1.82 FIP with 38 saves over 68 appearances. For Nelson and Wood, the biggest factor might be whether both veterans will be able to maintain their health.

If he’s throwing well, Treinen is certainly an upgrade to a bullpen that has faced plenty of scrutiny over the past few seasons. However, where and if either Nelson and Wood contribute remains to be seen. One thing we do know, though, is that both players were signed to big league contracts and neither have options remaining, so there’s a good chance both will be part of the Opening Day roster. And, unless the Dodgers decide to employ a six-man rotation, one of the two will probably find himself assuming the duties of a reliever.

In essence, I guess you could say that front-office boss Andrew Friedman has addressed the needs of both the starting rotation and the relief corps, although the success of those additions he made depends on quite a few variables. And gambles.

One area that hasn’t been addressed is the absence of a quality right-handed bat to compliment Justin Turner. The Dodgers have been plentiful when it comes to lefty hitters over the past several seasons, but they haven’t been quite the same in the power department since they lost righty hitters Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal. When we view the raw numbers that Puig, Kemp and Grandal contributed in 2018, along with those of Manny Machado and Brian Dozier (just when they were with the Dodgers), the tally comes out to a whopping 86 home runs and 278 RBI—just between those players.

As far as current right-handed hitters go on the prospective 26-man roster, Turner is flanked by A.J. Pollock, Will Smith, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Austin Barnes—a group that’s certainly nothing to write home about. Andy discussed Pollock a bit in her column on Thursday, indicating the potential role he could play in 2020. If Pollock can indeed capture some of his old form, it will definitely go a long way in balancing out the team’s power attack. Still, the fact that two-thirds of the starting pitchers the Dodgers will face will be right-handers sets the team up to succeed (most of the time) on the offensive side of things.

I don’t expect any big moves between now and the beginning of spring training, although there might be a few additions to help solidify the fringe between Triple-A and the majors. There’s still a little money left over between the payroll budget and the Luxury Tax Threshold, but this is currency which might be put to good use should the team decide to upgrade at the summer trade deadline.

Nevertheless, Friedman has stunned followers of the team with some of his surprise moves in the past. For all we know, he might have a big splash up his sleeve that will be revealed over the next few weeks. We shall definitely see.


18 thoughts on “Are Dodgers Finished Player Shopping for the Winter?

  1. In a “stunning move”, AF has just sent Sadler to the Cubs for what looks to be a Kike/CT clone in 24 year old Clayton Daniel, who has some half decent hitting numbers in the minors.
    Certainly better than just releasing Sadler.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Hell No, when Lance got caught cheating, they stripped him of all his medals and wins in the Tour. When Olympic atheletes get caught, they do not keep the Gold Medal. The Astros cheated the other teams in the AL and the Dodgers in the NL, and the players and teams were severely hurt in many ways. So hell no, we should not just laugh it off. Strip the Astros of their WS win, return the trophy, return the rings, and we can just have NO winner of the WS in 2017. MLB must grow some courage and do what is necessary, not fold like all the other CEO’s due to cowardice or fear of offending.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not think AF makes a major move. I think he will tweak the pitching staff and maybe add some sort of RH bat somewhere down the line, they will evaluate what they need at the deadline and go from there.


  4. You must have forgot that Jim crane, and John Henry are two of manfreds bosses John D.
    We are probably lucky that MLB penalized the team/ownership as much as it did, I think Luhnow, and Hinch’s suspensions are fair, if they penalized the players they would never tell the truth in an investigation ever again, so que sera, sera.


  5. I think AF will be opportunistic, if he can get an upper tier player at the deadline, by offering salary relief, and a small package of prospects, he will jump on it, but if there are no good deals to be made, then you’re probably right bear.


    1. Andy Fraudman will always be a bottom feeder with the mentality that he’s still running a small market team, plus he cannot resist the chance to gamble on a reclamation project with hope that one 1 in 10 pays actually pans out and is hailed as a genius. AJ Pollock is a great example of an Andy signing, IMO possibly the worst contract since Davis in Baltimore 4 years ago. Only an idiot would give china doll AJ a guarantee of more than 2 years and that’s a stretch. Andy boy and his godfather Stanley Kasten lack the stones and ability to pull off big FA signings, and smarts to make a major trade that’s not a salary dump. I wouldn’t trust control of a fabled MLB franchise to someone who is a dead ringer for 1960’s Jerry Lewis such as Andy Fraudman is, think “The Nutty Professor” Go run a small market team son!


  6. I think I’ve been saying “deadline move” for a while now. As currently constructed the O/U of this team is upper 90s in wins. We have everything we need RIGHT NOW, which includes minor league assets for a mid season trade.

    Again talk about that missing right handed bat and in the following paragraph 6 are named. And let’s not forget that the league pitching is 61% right handed and with this same problem last year we won 106 and led the league in scoring. Am I the only one that sees this?


      1. Who knows where Kershaw might be after another long season. Makes me a bit nervous, but, for better or worse, he and Buehler are our 1 & 2. There’s always the possibility somebody better will be available but I wouldn’t count on it.


  7. Kersh has unfortunately shown that he is not an October ace. We can’t have him pitching more than one game a series especially with his diminished


    1. Good point, now that you mention it, Kersh really can’t take two starts in a series. He might fool them once but fool them twice, probably not gonna happen


  8. I can’t believe they got rid of Sadler for pretty much nothing. He was quietly one of, if not the best reliever we had last year. Makes no damn sense but then again neither does signing Jimmy freaking Nelson but letting Ryu walk.


    1. I thought Sadler was probably worth keeping also, but he’s out of options and that probably hurt his case. Maybe this is just one more indication that May and Gonsolin are expected to be with the big club most of the year. The kid we got for Sadler may be the successor to Kike or CT3, although we may never hear of him again. Time will tell.


  9. I had never heard of max, kike, CT, or grandal before AF traded for them.

    CT, and kike are starting to get paid pretty good salaries, I can see the FO looking for the next, cheaper version of those guys.


  10. Clayton Daniel has some interesting minor league stats, though at 24 last year he was older than league average. He played college ball until he was 23 and 2 years in the minors he slashed .290/.367/.379. At 5’7” 170 he’s a thinner Altuve. I have no idea what the plan might be but I’m assuming at 25 he will be at AAA. We don’t need another utility guy unless there is a plan to move one of our existing tandem.

    Have to admit, I thought the play was to move Turner to first. It might still be in the works, who knows, but I thought it would be done by now. I still believe Seager is safer at third, but he isn’t there. Sure hope he can remain standing at short for 170 games.

    It would appear that there is management confidence in May and Gonsolin. Treinen and Nelson had better be good. If they are, along with who is already there we should be fine in the pen.

    I’m not crazy about Kasten but overall I think Friedman knows what he’s doing. He built World Series teams here and it’s my belief if not for cheating by both AL teams we faced we would have at least one championship. Shame on MLB for not stripping those championships. Just sweep it under the rug. They are counting on fans forgetting. Well I won’t.


  11. And especially robbing Kersh of finally putting his failed post season legacy behind him. He was awesome in game 1 and if he had a fair shot in game 5 and pitched us to victory he’s probably MVP of the series. He or Joc, but anyhow it would have been the shining moment of his great career! Just a shame!

    Liked by 1 person

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