The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally all back in Spring Training, and it remains uncertain who else will be joining them at Camelback Ranch.
As of Tuesday morning, highly coveted free agent Freddie Freeman had yet to chose a team. On Monday, his prior team, the Atlanta Braves, made a huge trade with the Oakland Athletics to bring All-Star first baseman Matt Olson to Atlanta in exchange for four prospects. One would assume that that means that Freeman will not be returning to Atlanta.
The Dodgers were said to be the front runners for the 2020 NL MVP, but in recent days other teams have started making a stronger push for Freeman. The Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Red Sox have all shown interest in the first baseman, who is weighing all offers before deciding where he will most likely spend the remainder of his career.
If the Dodgers do not end up signing Freeman, it will interesting to see where they pivot. They do not need Freeman, as they have a first baseman in Max Muncy, as well as a rotating cast of players who can spell him there, but acquiring a player of Freeman’s caliber would keep them at the top of the NL teams, competing with both the Braves and New York Mets for NL supremacy.
In a surprise on Monday, the Cincinnati Reds seem to be in sell mode, as they traded outfielder Jesse Winkler and infielder Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners. No doubt president of Baseball Operations Andrew Freidman has checked in with the Reds about Joey Votto, Luis Castillo, and others.
There are a few new faces in Dodgers camp. The team added a few players as non-roster invites. They include 3B/1B Jake Lamb, and right handed pitchers Yency Almonte, Reyes Moronta, and Mike Wright. They also signed 29 year old infielder Hander Alberto to a major league contract, with a club option for 2023.
There will new faces on the Dodgers broadcast team as well. Along with the current group of Joe Davis, Orel Hershiser, Jaime Jarrín, Fernando Valenzuela, Charley Steiner, Rick Monday, Nomar Garciaparra, Pepe Yñiguez, Jerry Hairston Jr, John Hartnung, Tim Neverett and Kirsten Watson, the broadcast will expand to include new and old faces alike.
Davis’s main partner Orel Hershiser had asked to step back a bit from his job as color analyst, and as such Mendoza, Willis and Karros will be joining Davis on the road for some games. González will be in studio pre and post game.
Joe Kelly has signed a two-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, and will not be returning to the Dodgers bullpen. Kelly had previously said that there was mutual interest in his return, but that is not to be. We wish Mariachi Joe the best in his new home in Chicago.
Trea Turner has said that he is open to contract extensions with the Dodgers, and could compartmentalize between the negotiations and his play on the field. Turner also said that while he will miss Corey Seager, he is excited to get to play shortstop again, and show what he can do there.
The Dodgers are also said to be interested in free agent Jorge Soler, the 2021 WS MVP. Soler would provide a big power bat, mostly at the DH position.
The next few days should be pivotal for the Dodgers in the quest to solidify the team. Stay tuned.