Wrapping up the GM Meetings
With the GM meetings concluding over the weekend I thought I would just compile all Dodgers related news that came out of them – and the couple of days since. Consensus around baseball is that this off season has gotten off to a much faster start than usual and multiple minor deals have already been struck along with the Andrelton Simmons blockbuster. We also saw the Qualifying Offer accepted for the first time. The Dodgers are yet to make any real moves as of yet with little likely to occur until the new manager is decided on. Nonetheless here are the rumblings surrounding the Dodgers:
More from Dodgers Way
- Giants sign former Dodgers pitcher in another move that’ll get them nowhere
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Are the Dodgers really prepared to hand Shohei Ohtani a blank check?
- Dodgers fans shouldn’t dismiss interest in Dansby Swanson for this reason
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- The Dodgers are said to be one of multiple teams who have shown significant interest in free agent reliever Darren O’Day. The side-armer would be a great addition to the pen and help bridge the gap to closer Kenley Jansen. O’Day’s market is said to be moving fast so a deal for the right-hander could come sooner rather than later. The Dodgers have also been linked to Rays relievers Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee.
- GM Farhan Zaidi had some positive things to say about OF Andre Ethier – “Andre had a big year for us and he fits very well on our team going forward”. Whilst some have calked this up to a bit of gamesmanship, I think you’ll find this means Ethier will be in a Dodgers uniform on opening day. This likely also rules out any move to add a free agent outfielder (Heyward, Upton etc.)
- President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, stated that the Dodgers are relying on bounce back seasons from Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal to fuel the offense next season. All were big factors in the Dodgers explosive first half but struggled down the stretch for various reasons. To this point Pederson and Puig will be assigned hitting coaches for the winter to help them get back to where they were. Meanwhile the Dodgers believe surgery on Grandal’s ailing shoulder will help him will regain his swing. All are All-Star calibre players and should rebound just fine with Pederson representing the highest risk.
- The Dodgers want Yasiel Puig to lose weight over the winter. Puig has put on weight every year since arriving at the big league level (weight meaning muscle I should emphasize) and the front office believes he may not be operating at a weight that best prepares him for playing 150+ games. Losing some of his weight should help him regain some athleticism and reduce the strain on his troublesome hamstrings.
- Pitching is the focus for the Dodgers this winter with starting pitching being the primary target. Zack Greinke is said to be at the top of the Dodgers wishlist however there are many who worry about the commitment it would take to sign a pitcher like him given his age.
- The deeper we get into this off season the greater the feeling I’m getting that the Dodgers will not be players at the top of the free agent market at all. Greinke may demand more than the Dodgers are willing to dish out, whilst David Price isn’t really a fit with 4 left handers already inked into the rotation. The Dodgers could make a play at Jordan Zimmerman but most are predicting he will end up in Toronto. As such, expect the Dodgers to turn to the trade market in order to fill out the top of the rotation whilst perhaps looking at the second tier of free agent pitching for depth.
- The Dodgers are exploring both internal and external options at second base. The Dodgers have Enrique Hernandez and Jose Peraza in house whilst Ben Zobrist, Daniel Murphy and Howie Kendrick are availabe as free agents.
- Brett Anderson accepted the Dodgers Qualifying Offer. As such, Anderson will return on a 1 yr/$15.8M deal. Howie Kendrick and Zack Greinke both declined.
- Darin Erstad withdrew from the Dodgers manager search leaving Bud Black, Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler as the remaining candidates.
- The Dodgers are looking to cut payroll to around the $200M mark this season. The Dodgers are then expected to operate around that mark from now on.
- J.P Howell exercised his player option and will pitch for the Dodgers next year.
This all seems like a lot of speculation and little action, however the Dodgers front office can work at a remarkable pace as seen in the Alex Wood/Jose Peraza deal. Expect things to happen thick and fast once the Dodgers decide on a manager. The Dodgers could look very different after the Winter Meetings (7th-10th December).