Baseball is a business, and the reality is that the band can’t stay together forever. Forces will inevitably pull people apart.
For the Los Angles Dodgers, they’re coming off an elusive championship that seemed nearly a decade in the making.
It feels as though the team is beginning a new chapter in their quest to build upon that monumental accomplishment.
Pederson wrote a phenomenal piece in The Players’ Tribune about his time with the Dodgers, and everyone who claims to be a fan of the game should check it out.
It’s a beautiful love letter to the Dodgers organization, teammates, and fans. Pederson also explains his thought process going into this free agency period.
It’s still unclear if Justin Turner will be back to help in the effort to defend this recent championship, yet it already feels like somewhat of a new era.
The Trevor Bauer signing sent shockwaves through the baseball landscape on Friday. The details of the contract are quite astounding. Bauer represents yet another weapon within this already talented squad.
While it’s true that Bauer does not have the sustained level of success of other pitchers who have earned relatively similar contracts, he’s elite when looking just at his last few seasons.
From 2018-2020, he has pitched 461.1 innings, registered a 3.18 ERA, posted a 1.12 WHIP, and struck out 11.2 hitters per nine innings.
There are very legitimate concerns, though. Bauer never had an ERA sub-4.00 or a WHIP sub-1.30 in any of his four full seasons before 2018.
He has either evolved into an ace in recent years or parlayed a dominant span of pitching fresh in everyone’s minds into a gargantuan contract outside the type of production more typical of his career rates.
After this recent championship and sustained dominance in terms of division titles and deep playoff runs, this front office certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt in situations like this.
They did their due diligence. It is not only important to accurately project Bauer’s value to the team in terms of stats but assess how he could impact team chemistry.
There’s a lot of baggage that Bauer brings that’s separate to his on-field performance. Adding a new player to an established group that has achieved success together brings added challenges.
The front office has weighed all the factors and proceeded with this addition, and it’s easy to see why optimism about next season should be towering.
If Bauer continues his 2018-2020 production rates, it’s hard to imagine any rotation top to bottom in recent history around the league better than the one the Dodgers are poised to have next season.
The Dodgers were undoubtedly the favorites to repeat even before this Bauer acquisition. This acquisition sends expectations to a whole other level.
This offseason has brought both highs and lows for this team as they have basked in the championship celebration.
A new chapter isn’t the end of a story, but just the beginning of the next stage of that tale through the next set of challenges.
It’s been an offseason of reflection. There are still some crucial questions that remain unanswered as the next season approaches.
It feels as though the Turner decision will come sooner rather than later, which will provide more clarity on what the Dodgers look like for the upcoming championship defense. Intriguing arrivals and sorrowful departures make this offseason seem especially significant.
All eyes are now on the Turner situation.