During Offseason, Dodgers Could Stay Quiet with Roster Upgrades

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(Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

Normally, over the winter months, there’s somewhat of a general timeline in the MLB as far as blockbuster trades and big-name free agent signings go.

Obviously, fans get a good idea as to which players are hitting the free-agent market after the conclusion of the World Series. Consequently, many MLB executives start the groundwork of productive conversations at the General Managers Meetings, which usually take place in the middle of November. After that, the action starts to happen at the Winter Meetings, perennially held during the first week in December, almost always at a very warm and pleasant venue.

From there on out, the hot stove becomes a free for all as teams jockey to put the finishing touches on their respective rosters.

However, as we are all clearly aware, 2020 is a completely different animal. COVID-19 is already impacting the offseason, as the league announced in late October the cancellation of both the GM and Winter Meetings. In their places there will be virtual teleconferences held, but it just won’t be the same as the traditional face-to-face affairs that are seemingly much more productive.

What’s more, as most clubs operated well below profit margins during the shortened season this year, there might not be much money to spend on players as new team budgets come to light over the winter.

Despite all that, the Dodgers are still being mentioned in some of the biggest rumors surrounding some of the biggest players, like infielder Francisco Lindor of the Indians and free-agent righty pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Of course, while front-office boss Andrew Friedman never leaves a stone unturned, the chances of either one of the aforementioned duo ending up with the Dodgers are very slim, just like any other high-impact, marquee player.

Certainly, the entire city of Los Angeles would welcome back third baseman Justin Turner with open arms, but there’s a good possibility that both sides never see eye to eye, particularly if Friedman and his crew are stingy on their offers regarding contract length.

Still, there are plenty of options for the infield even if Turner or super-utility man Enrique Hernandez end up somewhere else, specifically in the forms of reigning World Series MVP Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Edwin Rios, Gavin Lux and the newly emerging jack of all trades, Zach McKinstry.

That’s not even taking into consideration third baseman Kody Hoese, who was recently bumped up to the No. 3 rated prospect in the entire organization.

On the pitching front, the Dodgers have a well that’s eternally untapped. Fans already had a brief glimpse of what Mitch White can do. Plus, there’s a young righty named Josiah Gray who recently took over the top spot of the farm’s prospect rankings. Undoubtedly, Gray will see at least some big-league action in 2021.

Understandably, there will be a few minor moves made, especially when it comes to building the bullpen; but it wouldn’t be surprising at all if names like Victor Gonzalez and Brusdar Graterol emerge early as legitimate replacements for players like Blake Treinen and Pedro Baez, even if the coaching staff decides to keep Julio Urias in the starting rotation.

And, there’s always our site’s favorite reliever, Marshall Kasowski, who should be in the big league relief picture at some point of the year.

One thing that (hopefully) will be different in 2021 is the presence of a normal trade deadline, which will give Friedman the chance to upgrade based on his club’s first-half performance.

Until then, it’s not unreasonable to think there will not be any big splashes—especially for a team with many of the same pieces that were so dominant in 2020.

18 thoughts on “During Offseason, Dodgers Could Stay Quiet with Roster Upgrades

  1. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel entirely different about “fixing” the roster this winter. Winning the WS and signing Mookie long term just makes everything feel a lot better.

    If Belli and Muncy have what are for them normal seasons in 2021, that in itself is a huge upgrade to a team that was already the best in baseball. I don’t see any free agent that we couldn’t live without and I’m sure AF will do some tweeking in any case.

    It’s a good time to be a Dodger fan.

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  2. I also think there will be very little movement. But I do think the bullpen will not look the same. They need a serious backup for Jansen.

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  3. Well I disagree, you cannot stay palcid on live on your morals because we won. There were holes exposed during this playoffs and the jr squad (Padres) will get nothing but better. We ran out of starting pitching! The kids aren’t ready yet. (Gosolin, May). The right handed bats are not strong enough when the opposing teams try an neutralize Seager, Muncy, Rios and Belli. Betts, Smith and Barnes had key hits but overall wasn’t that great. We need a strong right handed bat. And of course relief pitching was suspect. teams knew if they could get into the bull pen they had a shot. Padres came back on us 2 or 3 games.
    I know the money wasn’t there because of Covid but you have to stay a step ahead of the competition not wait until the catch up.

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      1. LeMahieu would be first on my list, then Springer. If we really want to trade for somebody and not bring JT back, I would trade with the Indians but not for Lindor. I would ask for Ramirez! I know he’s not the flavor of the month, but it keeps Seager at ss and you get more power than Lindor. If not Ramirez then Lindor. If you swing and miss there contact the Rockies about Nolan. He had an off year but that will come back when he’s happy again.

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      2. I love Ramirez but it ain’t gonna happen. He’s under contract for 2021 plus two more reasonable years at team option. He’s way too valuable for them to trade unless they intend to take it down to the studs and totally rebuild. Figure what Lindor would cost and triple it in terms of prospects and that’s where they would start negotiations.

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      3. I agree Jeff and like you said they don’t have to worry about paying him for some time. I was just saying my ideal right hand bat.

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      4. Understood. It will be interesting to see if AF takes advantage of the fact that at least 2/3 of the teams won’t be spending much this winter or if he’s going to be another one who plays it conservative.

        And, of course, nothing says he has to do all his additions via free agency. There are also numerous trade possibilities.
        Or he could say that we’ve got the best team in baseball so he’ll just add around the edges because of all the uncertainty caused by Covid, lots of which will probably carry forward to next year.

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      5. what we all have to do is take in consideration when you stay pact is what re you losing??? JT, K. hernandez, Joc, those are major contributors. if you can find players like those, why don’t you keep what you got?? Baez, and Treinen will have to be replaced with upgrades. Going t be hard to replace Treinen, and I know people didnt too much care for Baez but he was a work horse for us.

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      6. I still find it hard to believe that JT won’t be back.
        Kike and Joc certainly were contributors but I think they would both like to be everyday players and I’ve got to think somebody out there will give them that opportunity. If not, I’m sure AF would have them back at the right price. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants go after one or both of them, but there are other teams who could use them as well.
        I don’t know what Andrew has in mind for the bullpen but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Baez and/or Treinen back either.

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      7. Your right Jeff about them wanting to be everyday players and I think you lose both. JT survives if the DH rule stays in the NL this year. He’s a right hand bat I know we need. He also survives if AF decides to be stingy and not spend and that’s how I started my comments. I don’t think we should do that. The time is now for our franchise we are only going to be a player or 2 away for awhile. We have to to always keep building the right way and just not spending to be spending but to win now!.

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  4. And look what was just posted… More from @JonHeyman
    on his latest podcast:

    He thinks the Rockies are still going to try and trade Nolan Arenado this offseason, with the Dodgers being the best option

    Said that Justin Turner is still the most likely option at 3B next year in LA, but to not rule out that trade

    Somebody’s reading our chats…lol

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    1. I’ve gotta believe that coming here would be at the top of Nolan’s Christmas wish list but the Rox would have to eat some of that contract and, assuming he didn’t opt out (which he can do next year), that would make it more difficult to keep Seager, Belli and Buehler along with Mookie. I’ll let AF figure out the numbers.

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      1. Jeff, I have to say it is a pleasure talking to someone that knows baseball. Thank you my friend. I was just going to comment on that post saying the same thing. The Rockies would have to eat some of that i think they would. When you commit long term with that type of money you’re being held over a barrel. You’re begging for a team to come in and take that player off of your books, so yes you kick in ala David Price’s deal. I wish AF would let me do the FA and negotiate the contracts for him or one week.. that would be fun.. I would bring you in Jeff…lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the compliment Terry. Glad you’ve decided to spend some time here. Always good to have active commenters and although we don’t always agree with each other, we’ve done a very good job of keeping things civil.

        Just let me know when AF gives you that thumbs up and I’ll be glad to help you negotiate those contracts.

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      3. Ahhh Thank you. I will always keep it civil. These are only our opinions and what we “arm chair managers” believe what we should do. AF has a the decisions to make and he’s the only one that matters.. lol.. we are all not going to agree even with his decisions either but I’m happy to be here.
        And i will sure give you message here when he calls….

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