While there isn’t any baseball until late February when pitchers and catchers report to spring training, it doesn’t mean baseball takes a break, as many activities continue year-round. Teams have begun to hire new managers, and soon teams will look to make free-agent offseason splashes. While the winter meetings may not be the same as previous years, baseball fans across the world will be refreshing their Twitter feed to hear the latest rumors as the offseason progresses.
The 2020 World Series Champion Dodgers have seven free agents in Pedro Baez, Kike Hernandez, Jake McGee, Joc Pederson, Blake Treinen, Justin Turner, and Alex Wood, all of whom played pivotal roles throughout the regular season and postseason. Whether they re-sign or not, their contributions to the Dodgers will always be remembered.
Here, in this wishlist, I will target players who I think the Dodgers have a good chance of signing or re-signing due to a number of different reasons.
Liam Hendriks—Right-handed Reliever, Oakland Athletics
Liam Hendriks is probably the number one reliever on the market this offseason. The Australian closer won the 2020 Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award. Hendriks is 31 years old and was an All-Star in 2019. He tallied 14 saves in 2020, which was second in the majors. He also posted a 1.78 ERA and 37 strikeouts and a 0.671 WHIP. Hendriks has shown he can go multiple innings, as he recorded a three-inning save in the postseason against the Astros.
There will be many suitors for the services of Hendriks. The Dodgers have three relievers on the free-agent market like I previously mentioned. Whether they’re able to re-sign any of them is uncertain, if they are unable, they could go after Hendriks. With no clear closer, and Kenley Jansen having seemingly lost his efectiveness, the Dodgers could pursue Hendriks. This season, Treinen, Jansen, Joe Kelly, Brusdar Graterol, and Julio Urias all saved games for the Dodgers. The ultimate wish here would be for the Dodgers to sign Hendriks while also retaining Treinen, although that could be quite pricey.
Justin Turner—Third Baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers
Yes I know, Turner isn’t necessarily a new addition to the team, as he’s been with the Blue Crew for a while. It is hard to envision Turner leaving the Dodgers at this point, and it only seems right he retires a Dodger. Turner will be 36 in late November and is nearing the end of his career. The Dodgers definitely got an all-time franchise steal when they signed him to a minor league Contract back in 2014.
This postseason Turner became the all-time Dodger leader in playoff hits passing Steve Garvey. Turner hit .307 in 2020 along with four homers and 23 RBI. His defense at third base also was crucial, showing up with a double play in Game 7 of the NLCS among his many web gems this year. He showed leadership in the clubhouse and was a crucial part of this Dodger team. In all likelihood, Turner may re-sign with the Dodgers on a short-term deal.
Marcus Stroman—Right-Handed Starting Pitcher, New York Mets
This last one came down to two pitchers, Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman. Bauer certainly had a great year, but I feel there will be a lot of teams after his services, and he’ll get a lengthy contract, probably outside of the range the Dodgers would commit. I believe Stroman is more of a viable option for the Dodgers. Stroman, who’s 29, didn’t pitch in the 2020 season for the Mets. He’s struggled with injuries the past couple of seasons, but he was an All-Star his last full season in the majors in 2019.
Many fans may remember the great pitching display he put on during the World Baseball Classic back in 2017, earning him MVP honors for the tournament. In the 2019 campaign, he posted a 3.22 ERA and 159 strikeouts over 184 ⅓ innings pitched. Due to his history with injuries, teams may be reluctant to sign Stroman, giving the Dodgers a better chance. Starting pitching has been one of the Dodgers strong suits in recent years, and if the Dodgers don’t sign any starting pitching, there are certainly options within the organization. They definitely have the arms to repeat as champions, but it wouldn’t hurt to add.