The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally making some moves this winter, although they are not big and splashy like some of their counterpart teams.
The Dodgers have passed on pretty much all of the top free agents of this year. Justin Verlander went to the Mets. Aaron Judge re-signed with the Yankees. Trea Turner returned to the East Coast to play for the Phillies. And most recently, Carlos Correa signed a 13-year deal with play with the rival San Francisco Giants.
In one of their first signings of the offseason, it was reported Wednesday afternoon that the Dodgers had signed pitcher Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal. The contract is worth $13 million, with $1.5 million in incentives.
The 30 year old righty reportedly had multi-year offers from other teams, but decided to take the offer with a Dodgers. Seemingly he is choosing to work with Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior, who has fixed many an arm, possibly earning himself a multi-year deal if he regains his previous form.
“Thor” started his career with the New York Mets, before signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last winter. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the deadline. Between the two teams, he went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA with 134.2 innings pitched.
Syndergaard is expected to join the starting rotation and joins Shelby Miller as the only other notable signing this offseason.
On Wednesday, it was also announced that the Dodgers had traded minor league pitcher Jeff Belge to the Tampa Bay Rays for right handed pitcher J. P. Feyereisan. He underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason, and is not expected to pitch until the end of the season.
Before he went on the IL however, Feyereisan had pitched 24.1 innings without allowing a run of any time. He could turn out to be an ‘acquisition’ at the end of the season and help the Dodgers in a playoff stretch.
Whether the Dodgers make any more moves this offseason remains to be seen. They are reported to be in the mix for shortstop Dansby Swanson, as they are tied to most big names at all times.
There are various rumors flying around as to why the Dodgers have not been super active so far this offseason. One is that they are attempting to reset the luxury tax in hopes of signing then-free agent Shohei Otanhi next winter.
Another is that they are awaiting the decision of Trevor Bauer’s appeal of his suspension for his sexual assault allegations. If Bauer wins his appeal, the Dodgers will be on the hook for $60 million of his salary. If Bauer loses, the Dodgers should have to pay him nothing going forward as his suspension would be after his contract with the Dodgers ends.
A lot of the Dodgers’ passing on big name free agents makes sense. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman was not going to pass out 13 year contracts like both Correa and Turner received. It also was reported that the front office was hesitant to bring Correa into the fold after he had been mostly unrepentant after the Houston Astros cheated the Dodgers out of a World Series win in 2017.
Still, not making any moves and letting so many Dodger free agents move on to other teams leaves a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. Last year’s huge playoff disappointment coupled by some big moves by rivals and playoff bound teams makes fan wont to scratch their heads wondering just what the front offices thought process is going into the 2023 season. Friedman and Co never let on what the plan is but somehow always seem to put together a dominant team and I’m sure this offseason is no different.
In sadder news, on Wednesday it also became official that Cody Bellinger had officially become a member of the Chicago Cubs. Although some fans were not upset to see him go, it is a truth that Bellinger had some absolutely huge moments for the Dodgers. They may not have made it past the Atlanta Braves in the 2020 NLCS if it were not for the heroics and good timing of some of Bellinger’s plays.
We wish Cody all the best of luck in this new chapter of his career.