For much of the offseason, I have been refreshing my Twitter feed, hoping that roster moves would pick up. Over the past few days, moves did indeed pick up, but not in the way I thought. The Dodgers have remained overall quiet, making small transactions that I’ll get into a bit. But the Padres have made a flurry of moves, acquiring Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Korean Baseball League infielder Ha-Seong Kim.
First off, the Dodgers were involved in a three-team deal this morning, alongside the Phillies and the Rays. The Dodgers sent minor leaguer Dillon Paulson and a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Rays, while left-hander Jose Alvarado, the most known name to baseball fans, is headed to Philadelphia. The Dodgers received left-hander Garrett Cleavinger from the Phillies.
Cleavinger just made his Major League debut this season for a Phillies bullpen that has been quite bad. He pitched 0.2 innings with one strikeout last season. Over five minor league seasons, Cleavinger posted a 4.08 ERA in 220.1 innings. The 26-year old was selected in the 2015 draft out of the University of Oregon where he had posted a 1.94 ERA. As far as this deal goes, it isn’t those jaw-dropping deals, but it’s a deal the Dodgers tend to make. Adding depth can never hurt, especially when considering the number of fringe players used last season. Cleavinger will probably see more time in the minors than the majors for now, but who knows—Freidman and company have found these hidden gems that have turned out huge in the past.
The Dodgers also officially announced today that they’ve signed Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal through the 2022 season. Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery last year and will probably miss all of next season, so we won’t get to see him in Dodger blue until early 2022. He only appeared in one game last season before undergoing surgery. Back in 2019, he posted a 3.67 ERA in 61.1 innings along with 88 strikeouts.
So now I’ll give a few of my personal thoughts about the Padres moves, and how it affects the Dodgers. Andy recapped the moves on Monday before the Darvish deal went through on Tuesday.
In a sense, it reminds me of the offseason the Padres went through a couple of years ago when they added Justin and Melvin Upton alongside Matt Kemp, and we’re going for a new look.
But, obviously, this San Diego team is much better than that one. Darvish had a great bounce-back year after struggling with injuries since he left the Dodgers. Snell, a former Cy Young winner, seemed unhittable at times against the Dodgers in the World Series this year, and Seong Kim was highly touted out of Korea, where he hit .308
So how does this affect the Dodgers? The division won’t surely be a cakewalk in 2021, but the defending champs won’t go out easily. From a baseball fan standpoint, this is great for the game; it makes these divisional matchups between the Dodgers and Padres must watch games.
I’ve seen a couple of people suggesting that the Dodgers need to sign Trevor Bauer to keep up with San Diego. In reality, I do not think they do. Surely adding Bauer would be a bold comeback, but the Dodgers rotation as it is can compete with any major league starting crew out there.
It seems like the Padres are fed up with being the Dodgers little brother and are trying to close the gap. However, there is probably still more work to be done if San Diego truly wants to contend.
The Dodgers are the champions for a reason, as they have tremendous big league depth and talent, as well as a great farm system. For any fan worried about the Padres, I’d say until the Padres officially claim an NL West divisional title, Los Angeles will still be the top dog in the baseball world.