Thoughts on the Dodgers’ Winter So Far & Rumors Going Forward

I will begin this post by stating the caveat that I know the offseason is not done, that it is only the 12th of December. The Dodgers front office is not done trying to make this team better, and that more moves are yet to come. But the fact that the Dodgers did not sign any of the Top 3 free agents this winter is a little mystifying.

I can give a pass to the Dodgers not signing Stephen Strasburg. Although he opted out of his contract with Washington, it was pretty evident that he was going to return to the team that drafted him for an even bigger payday.

Gerrit Cole, again, I’m not quite so mad about. The Dodgers did actually offer the biggest contract they’ve ever offered a free agent, $300M over eight years. Reportedly, the Yankees put the full court press on Cole, bringing in former players and the owner Hal Steinbrenner to close the deal. I don’t know what the Dodgers could have reasonably done, as the Yankees were not going to be denied in getting their man. And, it seemed all along that Cole wanted to be a Yankee, anyway.

So that brings us to Anthony Rendon. There has been talk about the Dodgers bringing in a new third baseman since October. Justin Turner had been consulted about a possible move to first base, the big brass said, and he was okay with this possibility. While the Dodgers were also said to be interested in Josh Donaldson, Rendon was THE third baseman out there. He’s proven himself to produce in the playoffs, wields a steady right-handed bat and is a great clubhouse guy. He checks all the boxes.

So why was there no offer made? It was reported that the Dodgers felt that Rendon didn’t want to play in Los Angeles. What gave them that impression? It obviously was wrong, since he signed with the Angels in Anaheim, unless he stated that he specifically did not want to play for the Dodgers.

I suppose in the coming days that it may come out specifically why the Dodgers didn’t even feel like they would offer a contract. But something feels a bit off to me. Heck, they even made an offer to Bryce Harper last winter, knowing that it would not be enough to sign him.

Nationals fans are grieving the loss of Rendon. Dodger fans are grieving the thought of their front office actually doing anything that would make a huge splash, giving confidence to their fans that after seven-straight failed attempts at wining the World Series, they are serious now about winning one.

I also am not all that excited about who is left in free agency, and who the Dodgers are rumored to be interested in. Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the top starting pitchers out there to be signed. While signing Bumgarner would have so many other implications, he and Keuchel are past their prime and leave much to  be desired. They would be a third or fourth starter for the Dodgers, who really need another stud pitcher behind Walker Buehler to propel them to the World Series.

The Dodgers are not being heavily linked to Ryu after he just spent his whole U.S. career with them makes me wonder if the Dodgers know something about him that they’re not letting on.

And, don’t get me started on the rumors that the Dodgers are in on Josh Hader. While he was dominant in 2018 and early 2019, he was prone to giving up the lead and the long ball as the season went on, and his past transgression with his homophobic and racist tweets don’t seem to fit the type of player the Dodgers sign.

Hopefully, I will be writing another post later today about how the Dodgers have made a big trade. No, it doesn’t even need to be today, it can be a week or two weeks from now. But please, front office, show me something. Both Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman are on the record saying that the roster is going to change, that the team could look drastically different come Spring Training.

Dodgers fans are waiting.

 

Dodgers Reportedly Sign Blake Treinen to One-Year Deal

After staying mostly quiet for the first two and a half days of the 2019 meetings, the front office crew of the Dodgers has addressed the club’s “omnipresent” need that we discussed on Tuesday—the bullpen.

According to the latest news, Los Angeles has agreed to terms with former Oakland right-hander Blake Treinen.

Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to reveal the news. The reported contract is worth one year and $10 million.

J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group confirmed the signing approximately one hour after Passan’s tweet. According to Hoornstra, “there are no incentives or options in Treinen’s contract. It’s a straight one-year, $10 million deal.”

Several reports suggest that Treinen had numerous suitors with similar offers, but he chose the Dodgers because of the team’s likelihood to succeed next season.

We talked about Treinen yesterday in the early column when discussing possibilities about the Dodgers complementing closer Kenley Jansen and their other late-inning options.

The 31-year-old Treinen is coming off of a disappointing season which saw him tally a uncharacteristic 4.91 ERA and a 5.14 FIP over 57 appearances and 58-2/3 innings. These numbers came one year after he posted a ridiculous 0.78 ERA and 1.82 FIP with 38 saves in 68 appearances, leading to an appearance in the 2018 All-Star game.

Over the course of his six-year big league career, the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder has made 345 appearances, producing a 2.97 ERA and a 3.35 FIP with 391 punchouts over an even 400 innings of work.

Treinen was selected by Oakland in the seventh round of the 2011 draft out of South Dakota State, but eventually broke in with the Nationals in 2014. After four seasons on the senior circuit, things began clicking for the native of Kansas after he was dealt to the Athletics a few weeks before the 2017 trade deadline.

During the second half of his 2017 campaign, he posted a 2.13 ERA and a 3.08 FIP with 42 strikeouts and 13 saves in 35 games.

According to Brooks Baseball, Treinen mainly utilizes a sinker which sits in the 96-98 MPH range. He also mixes in an occasional slider and change.

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Should Treinen be able to find success similar to his 2018 campaign, it will provide the Dodgers with a much-needed, late-inning arm to complement all three of Jansen, Pedro Baez and Joe Kelly.

 

Dodgers Shifting Focus to Madison Bumgarner

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(USA TODAY Sports photo)

Now that both Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole have been removed from MLB’s free agency big board, the Dodgers will now be shifting their focus on an arm that is well-known to the club—the left-handed arm of 30-year-old Madison Bumgarner.

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Cody Bellinger Named to All-MLB First Team

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(Los Angeles Times photo)

Cody Bellinger was named to the All-MLB first team as Major League Baseball today announced the inaugural selections.  The first and second teams were determined by a combination of voting from fans and a decorated panel of 30 media members, broadcasters, former players and other officials throughout the game.  Each player named to the All-MLB first or second team will receive a trophy to commemorate his selection.

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What Does ‘Omnipresent’ Mean?

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(Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

While front-office boss Andrew Friedman wasn’t exactly all-revealing on Monday about the roster plans of the Dodgers this winter, he did provide a few hints to reporters regarding his club’s intentions.

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Latest Dodgers Rumors Heading into Winter Meetings

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(Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

We’ve reached that time of year, the one that most baseball fans have looked forward to for months. No one liked last season where the biggest free agents waited until February and March to make their decisions of where their new homes would be.

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Gerrit Cole Sweepstakes Heating Up

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(CBS Sports photo)

At the beginning of the weekend, we heard numerous reports that super agent Scott Boras and his crew would be asking teams across the league to submit their initial offers for his prized client, Gerrit Cole, at the beginning of this year’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.

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Dodgers 2020 Roster: To Spend or Not to Spend

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(Getty Images photo)

Seemingly, the fan base of the Dodgers is split as far as predicting whether the team will make a big splash this winter in terms of upgrading its player roster.

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Updates on the Dodgers and the Relief Pitching Market

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While the Winter Meetings don’t start until next week, baseball overall has been busy in recent days. Quite a few names have signed or re-signed, and overall it’s looking like the Meetings and the off-season itself will be busier and not as drawn out as last year.

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Who Is Kevin Gausman?

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(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

As far as winter hot stove activity goes, rarely have we seen so much action take place before the annual Winter Meetings as we have this year. Most of the big free agents are still on the board, but plenty of clubs uncharacteristically have already snatched up dozens of serviceable players. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have stayed very much quiet, at least in terms of new player acquisitions.

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