The front office has made it abundantly clear this off-season that they’re not going to make any big splashy moves, or add any money to their payroll. They like the team where it is, and they’re setting it up nicely for the future. But, the Tampa Bay Rays seem to be having a fire sale, and why wouldn’t the Dodgers at least want to check in on how they could acquire Chris Archer and Kevin Kiermaier.
In case you haven’t heard the most recent rumblings, the Dodgers had representatives in Seattle today to view a showcase of righty pitcher Tim Lincecum, who sat out all of the 2017 season after his attempted comeback in 2016 essentially failed.
Lately, the Dodgers have been known for three things—being the best team in the National League in 2017, introducing the two most recent NL Rookies of the Year to Major League Baseball, and refusing to trade their top prospects. Their commitment to keeping the top prospects in a Dodgers uniform has already proved to be a good strategy. Had they held on to the common theme of “win now” several years back, Cody Bellinger and/or Corey Seager probably wouldn’t be wearing Blue right now.
Ever since the Marlins agreed to the deal to send Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees in early December, fans around the league knew it was just a matter of time before Miami scraped away all the excess salary it could in an effort to begin a massive rebuild. Not long after the New York trade, Dee Gordon was shipped off to the Mariners, and about a week after that deal, Marcell Ozuna was sent to the Cardinals.
Back in December, it appeared as if the Yankees had agreed with the Pirates on a deal to acquire righty starter Gerrit Cole, however, those rumors eventually fizzled when both sides couldn’t see eye to eye on a return package. Several weeks later, a separate deal with the Astros looked to be imminent, yet despite those particular reports, the Cubs are apparently now in the running among who knows how many other clubs. And even though the Dodgers don’t necessarily need another front-line starter, it probably wouldn’t hurt the Los Angeles front office crew to exercise their due diligence and make a few phone calls.
The offseason is going especially slow this year, with but a few trades and signings scattered throughout to keep us going. What the reason for it is, no one seems to know for sure. It could be the front offices are not really seeing anyone they really want to add to their team. It could just be that they are all waiting out the market.
Of course, the ultimate aspiration for a baseball boss is to bring home an MLB Championship to his organization. But, building a competitive player roster is the first step of the process, and despite a few early signs from the Dodgers possibly staying quiet over the winter, Andrew Friedman and his troops have lately been busy on the phones in their quests for personnel upgrades. The question lingering now is, how many more moves will the management crew make before players begin reporting to spring camp?
On Saturday, the Dodgers announced that they had traded four players to the Braves in exchange for Matt Kemp. It was a rare trade that worked for both sides, in that both teams got the salary dump they were looking for, plus the Braves got some players that can be useful to them in 2018 and beyond. Yesterday we touched on what it meant to the players that were traded and where it left the roster. But what does it mean for the Dodgers going forward?
Baseball’s Winter Meetings start today, and the Dodgers have yet to make any moves. For a team that had the best record in baseball last year, and were one win a way from winning it all, that wouldn’t normally be a big concern. To the Los Angeles front office, I’m sure it isn’t. With fans, it’s probably a different story.
A little bit ago I wrote about how it seemed very unlikely that Giancarlo Stanton would be a member of the Dodgers in 2018. While it is still far from fruition, it does seem more plausible than it did a few weeks ago.