As far as rumors across the league go, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper seem to have a stronghold on the market. According to some contentious gossip, the Dodgers were once believed to be in the “red zone” with Harper, as Los Angeles was on the “20-yard line” and closing regarding an agreement. Consequently, the Dodgers apparently had no real strong interest in Machado, yet as the days draw shorter to spring camp, their name keeps getting mentioned more and more.
Compared to recent years, as far as the Dodgers are concerned, the 2018-19 offseason has heard more chatter about prospective signings and trades than any other. Conversations continue to swirl about a new catcher, outfielders, a second baseman, relievers, and even starting pitchers. Some of the marquee players mentioned have been Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Corey Kluber and DJ LeMahieu. However, in reality, chances are thin that the club lands more than one of these superstars. Taking that into consideration, and not knowing the team’s intended payroll budget, which area of the roster should Los Angeles prioritize the most in terms of a new addition?
While there has been a ton of speculation as to how the Dodgers plan on lining up their outfield crew in 2019, many pundits feel that the club is considering a bonafide right-handed bat to replace the production of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, especially if progress fizzles in the pursuit of Bryce Harper.
It’s been more than a month now since the Dodgers have been tied to Cleveland ace Corey Kluber in trade talks, and needless to say, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Seemingly, there was a point a few weeks ago where the sides were supposedly close to a deal; yet, there was another juncture when the Indians were believed to have taken their ace off the table completely.
As quiet as the offseason has been so far, one of the main focuses of the Dodgers management crew is trying to snag an experienced catcher for the upcoming campaign. Many thought Wilson Ramos, who recently signed a two-year pact with the Mets, was a perfect fit, despite his intentions to remain on the East Coast. But even if Los Angeles is able to land a gem via trade or free agency, what would happen in the event of an injury?
With the Bryce Harper sweepstakes still captivating the baseball world, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the thick of a free agent decision that can alter the league landscape for potentially the next decade.
While the Dodgers did not make a mighty splash at the 2018 Winter Meetings, they did walk away with a significant upgrade to their bullpen with the acquisition of righty Joe Kelly. And, as there are still a few wants and needs before the 2019 roster puzzle is complete, there’s still plenty of time for deals to be made. Pitchers and catchers will report to Camelback Ranch in mid-February, which still gives the club more than eight weeks to perform some fine tuning ahead of spring camp.