Major League Baseball finds itself at the beginning of Awards Week. Rookies of the Year, Managers of the Year, Cy Youngs and MVPs will all be announced throughout the week, starting Monday evening.
There is only one Dodger up for any of these awards. Mookie Betts was nominated for NL MVP, along with Manny Machado and Freddie Freeman. Popular thought is that the award will go to Freeman, the first baseman for the Atlanta Braves.
As Dennis touched on yesterday, this figures to be a quiet offseason for the Dodgers, due to the team not needing huge upgrades in any one area and the nature of baseball after a season that happened in a pandemic.
Mike Petriello of MLB.com today had an article outlining the top teams as they all stand right at this moment. The Dodgers were still named the top team due to most of their core team returning next season. They were followed by the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and the Houston Astros. The Dodgers were a cut above the rest with a Steamer projected WAR of 44.3. The Padres followed with a projected WAR of 39.8, and the next three teams were very close to that, with the Astros rounding out the top five with a 38.5 projection.
Also today, Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman was on MLB Network Radio. He said that the main focus of the Dodgers this offseason would be on the bullpen, like every season, and like we all thought. He also stated that re-signing Justin Turner is not at the top of their list. They will respect JT’s free agency and his desire to do whatever is best for his family. Ultimately, they are looking for a right-handed bat and a reliever or two.
Friedman also commented on the report that there are now nine Covid-positive cases within the Dodgers organization. Turner was the first case, found out in the middle of Game 6 of the World Series. Turner then came on to the field, celebrating the win with teammates. Max Muncy stated that they wanted JT with the team, and Manager Dave Roberts, himself a cancer survivor, made sure to sit next to Turner in the team photo.
When asked by the host, Freidman stated, “We have 400, 500 different employees, kinda all mixed across different areas and different places, and you know, some have contracted the virus. I think for the most part, to my knowledge, everyone who has it has taken the necessary precautions, and also feeling relatively good so I think from that stand point that’s the time period that we’re in right now….and it’s what we do when that happens and we feel good about the responsibility that our employees take… Its different people from every different department, and for the most part, people that live in LA County and work for the Dodgers but weren’t in the bubble.”
There is some mystery as to whether any other players have tested positive from Turner being on the field, and how JT got the virus when, by all accounts, he was adhering to protocols inside the bubble. The world may never find out how that was allowed to happen.