I would feel a whole lot better if the Dodgers were to make an offseason move I was genuinely excited for. Losing Hanley Ramirez to Boston has left a big question mark at shortstop, a hole in the lineup and a big hole in my heart.
I’ll choose to remember Hanley like this instead of him taking selfies with Pablo Sandoval who is now his new teammate in Boston.
The Dodgers haven’t been totally stagnant this winter, but the acquisitions haven’t been exactly blockbuster trades. I totally understand that Triple-A needs pitching too, and Mike Bolsinger hopefully won’t be slotting into the Dodgers rotation any time soon. There are certainly cheap pickups to be made, and Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have collected a few already adding Juan Nicasio, Adam Liberatore and Kyle Jensen to the 40-man roster.
Joel Peralta is a veteran right-hander that can add stability to the bewildered Dodgers bullpen, and his acquisition was in exchange for wild but talented right-hander Jose Dominguez along with Greg Harris. A fair trade for both sides, Peralta could take over setup duties if Brian Wilson should repeat his tumultuous 2014 season next year out of the bullpen.
While Peralta doesn’t necessarily add youth to the team, I’m more than happy to see him pitch out of the bullpen instead of a Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez or a 2014 Brian Wilson. I’m still looking for the new front office to revamp the pen with a proven reliever preferably not of the washed up closer or starter turned closer variety.
With Hanley’s bat gone, the Dodgers will be looking to rely on improved defense from shortstop. We may not know who the starting shortstop will be until Spring Training where Erisbel Arruebarrena, Miguel Rojas, Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero all will be considered. Until Corey Seager is ready for the Majors, the Dodgers may just go with their internal options until Seager Day.
With no big free agent signings on the horizon, the Dodgers should focus on pitching both in the rotation and for relief. While there’s almost a certainty that Mike
Losing a Hammy but gaining a Hamels? Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Bolsinger will be making spot starts once half the pitching squad is injured by May (isn’t that how it has gone the last two seasons?), the Dodgers can prevent this foreseeable situation by obtaining at least one more starting pitcher this winter.
Cole Hamels would be a great addition to the starting rotation, but the price may come steep for the Dodgers. The Phillies won’t just let the Dodgers have Hamels unfortunately, so a reasonable deal would have to be crafted by Farhan Zaidi and Ruben Amaro Jr. who says he is in no rush to trade Hamels. Perhaps a three-way trade could work for both teams, otherwise the Dodgers would have to part with at least one or two of their top prospects. There’s no way I’d trade Corey Seager or Julio Urias for that matter, and I’d have to think that the new Dodger execs are focusing on bolstering the farm system rather than stripping it down right now.
With other pitching possibilities out there in Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, Brandon McCarthy, etc., the Dodgers can hopefully add another key member to the rotation in order to solidify the Dodgers renewed legacy of excellence in pitching. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Hyun-jin Ryu, Dan Haren looks like a stellar pitching rotation to me.
Hamels would like to stay in the National League if traded, and Los Angeles is one of the teams that he can’t block a trade to. Interestingly, the Red Sox have been the top trade match for the Phillies when it comes to Hamels. The Dodgers would have to make Amaro an offer he couldn’t refuse to get the Philadelphia ace. With Zack Greinke able to opt-out of his contract after next season, the Dodgers would certainly like to gain another solid pitcher like Hamels in order to not leave its rotation vulnerable should Greinke leave.
Hamels has only played for the Phillies throughout his entire career, but he is a Southern California native from San Diego. Hamels has not only been successful on the mound, but his philanthropic endeavors outside of baseball include his charity organization called The Hamels Foundation which helps build elementary and secondary schools in Malawi.
Perhaps all the “minor” trades the Dodgers have been making are building toward something bigger. Or maybe there won’t be any big acquisitions this offseason, but a Hamels level deal would certainly get me excited for April.