The Dodgers Have Spent $194m on Free Agents this Off-Season but they might not be Done
This was always going to be a challenging off-season for the Dodgers. Coming of the back of a disappointing championship series loss, LA was set to lose Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to free agency. There was also the news that the franchise may be forced to cut expenses in order to comply with MLB’s debt servicing rule.
Despite this the Dodgers have managed to retain major free agents Jansen, Turner and Hill, with the latter two coming at seemingly below market rates. With these moves, projection systems once again have the Dodgers as the team to beat in the NL West by a comfortable margin. However, with the roster looking largely similar to the the 2016 version questions remain as to whether or not the Dodgers will have enough to finally break their World Series drought.
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With the departure of Chase Utley to free agency, the Dodgers are left with a large hole at 2nd base. The only in-house candidate, Enrique Hernandez has struggled mightily against right-handed pitching throughout his career. As such the Dodgers have engaged a number of teams in search of 2nd basemen notably the Twins and Brian Dozier.
With the re-signing of LA’s key free agents, many assumed LA would be out on anymore big additions however, Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Dodgers continue to discuss Dozier with the Twins.
Dozier, a right-handed hitter broke out in a big way in 2016. Between 2012 and 2015, the Twins second baseman hit .237/.314/.411 with 75 home runs. That was good for a perfectly league average 100 wRC+. 2016 was a different beast for Dozier however, as the one time all-star bashed his way to a .268/.340/.546 triple slash line to go with 42 home runs and 18 stolen bases. That earned Dozier a massive 132 wRC+ and 5.9 WAR.
Dozier would be a huge upgrade to a lineup that struggled mightily against left-handed pitching in 2016, while filling the hole left at second base by the departures of Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick.
As it stands, the Twins reported asking price centers around top prospect Jose de Leon, however the Dodgers remain hesitant to include de leon in any Dozier trade.