Dodgers Re-Sign Rich Hill, Reactions, and More on Winter Meetings

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Dec 5, 2016; National Harbor, MD, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill (right) shakes hands with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman (left) at a press conference announcing Hill
Dec 5, 2016; National Harbor, MD, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill (right) shakes hands with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman (left) at a press conference announcing Hill /
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The Dodgers have controversially re-signed Rich Hill, and are looking at more players like Andrew McCutchen, Brian Dozier, and Wade Davis. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers made their first big splash during the 2016 Winter Meetings on Monday by re-signing Rich Hill. Hill was the top free-agent starting pitcher after his career year, posting a 2.12 ERA. Los Angeles re-signed the 36 year-old lefty to a three-year $48 million deal, with a $2 million signing bonus.

Oct 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill (44) reacts after a strike out during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill (44) reacts after a strike out during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dodgers desperately need pitching behind Clayton Kershaw. Rich Hill proved himself more than capable of being one of those pitchers. However, his age and nagging injuries leave many scratching their heads over this deal, especially a year after the  Zack Greinke signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hill also hasn’t always been the dominant pitcher he is today. Though beggars can’t be choosers. This is certainly a lot of money to spend on someone with plenty of question marks.

Hill was emotional in his interview following his signing. Hill was one of the most motivated players on the 2016 roster. His outbursts during his outings and his career resilience are prime examples of this. Los Angeles didn’t just buy an arm. They also bought a great clubhouse presence.

Hill is a decent number two, and without a doubt one of the best number three starters in the league. But it was proven last year the Dodgers need another pitcher equal to or better than Hill. Spending $48 million already leaves less room to negotiate with other potential acquisitions. However, they have also made it clear that they do not want to spend absorbent amounts of money. So where does that leave Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen?

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The 2016 team came up just short of the finish line, so they would need to improve on a roster similar to that of last year’s. The roster can’t be improved if both Turner and Jansen are gone without replacements. The Miami Marlins offered Jansen an $80 million deal, and Turner is drawing interest from down the freeway.

Jansen is 29, so a long-term deal is not a problem. However, there are other options at the closer position if Los Angeles don’t want to get into a bidding war. With Mark Melancon signing with the San Francisco Giants, that leaves Aroldis Chapman and Wade Davis. Los Angeles has allegedly asked about the latter, which indicates he might be a back-up plan to Jansen.

The opposite is said for Turner. He is 32, so a long-term deal is a bit riskier. He is also one of the only significant third basemen in the free-agent market. Regardless, the Dodgers and Turner seem to share mutual interest in negotiating a deal.

As mentioned before, the Dodgers will need more than just re-signing their players from last year. They have apparently inquired on stars like Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale. In addition, they’ve been searching for a second basemen. Yangervis Solarte and Brian Dozier are linked to the Dodgers. They’ve also been on the lookout for left-handed bullpen arms in Mike Dunn, Boone Logan, and Jerry Blevins.

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McCutchen and Sale’s asking prices are extremely high which will probably result in nothing happening. McCutchen is also receiving heavy interest from the Washington Nationals. In addition, the Dodgers would have to do something with Joc Pederson since the former MVP, McCutchen, made it clear he doesn’t want to change positions. The Twins, however, are interested to see what the Dodgers can offer for Brian Dozier. Dozier’s contract and success against left-handed pitching would solve many of Los Angeles’ needs.

Los Angeles has many holes to plug, but the Rich Hill re-sign tips off that they are willing to spend. The question is who will they spend it on.

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