All is Quiet So Far For Dodgers at Winter Meetings
So far the Dodgers haven’t made any moves during the first full day of Winter Meetings action Monday in San Diego. Matt Kemp is still a Dodger, and Jon Lester has not yet signed. Although the Lester sweepstakes is reportedly close to coming to a conclusion sometime soon. Andrew Friedman of course did not parlay any information about the Dodgers interest in Lester when asked.
The Cubs, Giants, Red Sox and Dodgers have interest in Lester, but it is unclear whether the frugal Friedman will take the leap to sign Lester to a pricey long-term deal. Of course Friedman could be hiding an ace up his sleeve- literally. Friedman did admit that he is planning on adding another pitcher to shore up the rotation or bolster the bullpen, although he didn’t mention who specifically.
Matt Kemp’s name was still swirling around San Diego and Los Angeles as trade scenarios involving the outfielder continued. While Andre Ethier still desires to be a starter, the Dodgers have yet to find a suitor for the displaced Ethier. The Dodgers could gain more in return for Kemp than Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford, but trading Kemp right when he’s finally healthy and returning to form would only weaken an already offensively challenged team post Hanley Ramirez.
Even though I feel that trading Kemp would be a huge mistake, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi are definitely listening to all prospective trade partners about Kemp as they should be. Signing Matt Kemp to his 8-year $160 million contract was one of the final actions made by former owner Frank McCourt, and it may be one of the first contracts to be unloaded by Friedman and Zaidi.
The Cubs signed Jason Hammel to two-years and $20 million for the first deal of the Winter Meetings. The Oakland A’s traded Brandon Moss to the Indians in
Dec 8, 2014; San Deigo, CA, USA; A general view of the podium at the MLB Winter Meetings at Manchester Grand Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
exchange for Joe Wendle as well on Monday. The A’s continue to confuse me with their moves, and it worries me a bit that Farhan Zaidi comes from Oakland whose 2014 team had one of the worst late-season collapses in recent memory. The White Sox are also reportedly close to acquiring Jeff Samardzija. Once again, the A’s make me scratch my head.
Friedman also didn’t give a clear cut answer to who the Dodgers will play at shortstop next season when talking to the media in San Diego. He also mentioned that they don’t expect to actively pursue any players in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. The current Dodgers 40-man roster is full.
The Dodgers have added to their organizational depth this offseason, but the new front office regime has yet to make any splashy deals. The acquisition of reliever Joel Peralta was the biggest move thus far this winter, but the bullpen remains a work in progress. With new focus on the minor league system and international player development and scouting, it seems as though the Dodgers are not in spending mode any longer.
Will Lester land in L.A., or will San Francisco jump at the opportunity to add to their rotation? Tuesday looks to be a much more active day at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. With drinks flowing tonight at the sports bar, perhaps deals are more likely to follow in the morning. Unless of course, the Dodgers representatives retire to their room early to crunch numbers.