Dodgers News: Dodgers Leave Winter Meetings With Work to Do


The Dodgers had high hopes for the Winter Meetings but leave with work to be done.

The winter meetings have now been and gone and despite lofty expectations going in, the only notable transaction from the Dodgers was the re-signing of breakout star Rich Hill to a bargain 3yr/$48m deal. Despite the consensus among the fan base, this is not nothing. With this signing the Dodgers go into 2017 with three of the top 25 pitchers in baseball according to WAR. The top of the rotation will now consist of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda. The only other team that can boast the same honor is the Boston Red Sox with their new ace, Chris Sale. The Dodgers will also likely receive a full season of production from phenom Julio Urias. However, its certainly understandable to feel disappointed with the Dodgers Winter Meetings.

The team entered the week with huge question marks at 2nd, 3rd and the bullpen while also needing to balance out a left leaning offense. With that in mind the Dodgers were involved in numerous rumors throughout the week reportedly negotiating with the Twins on Brian Dozier, the Royals on Wade Davis and Lorenzo Cain, the Pirates on Andrew McCutchen, the Padres on Yangervis Solarte as well as free agents Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. As it stands, only Chapman and Davis have been taken off the board, while it looks more and more certain that the club will retain Turner.

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However, perhaps the expectation of the annual Dodgers trading spree was unreasonable. After all, GM Farhan Zaidi did warn us early on that these Winter Meetings would be quieter than usual due to the uncertainty surrounding the CBA agreement. And to an extent, that’s ok even with numerous holes in the roster the Dodgers still project to be the 3rd best team in baseball in 2017. That certainly doesn’t mean Zaidi can get away with doing nothing – division rivals Arizona, San Francisco and Colorado have all improved in the last fortnight – but with that kind of core in place the Dodgers are already in a great position as they approach the new season.

With that in mind, Zaidi did leave fans cause for optimism:

Nearly, every team not named with the suffix ‘Sox’ had a quiet  Winter Meetings. That means there are 25+ teams still looking to make moves to patch holes in their respective rosters, there are still plenty of candidates available. If we have learnt anything from this front office from past off-seasons its that these discussions have very likely set up a string of transactions that are just waiting for the first domino to fall. There were some 20 teams who failed to improve at this years Winter Meetings and the Dodgers were not one of them

With a 5yr/$80m deal in hand from the Marlins, Kenley Jansen may have thrown his last pitch for the Dodgers. It’s a tough pill to swallow and the bullpen would be noticeably worse off for it. But there are still plenty of options available and the franchise still have more resources than anyone else in baseball.

Next: Jansen to Sign Soon

The Dodgers roster won’t look the same on Opening Day so until then let’s be patient.