Dodgers Have Successful Winter, Looking to Add More
By Evan Shin
The Los Angeles Dodgers are leaving with their shopping cart full of expensive, but necessary re-signings. The Dodgers went into the Winter Meetings needing to re-sign their key free agent stars like Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and Rich Hill, and they did just that.
Despite being offered a larger contract by the Washington Nationals, Jansen showed some California Love and chose to re-sign with the only team he’s ever known for less money. It wasn’t a significant difference, and he is still the second highest-paid reliever in baseball, but the gesture was a decent one in a game where money overshadows loyalty.
Jansen ultimately inked a five-year, $80 million deal. Turner and Hill also drew some interest from other teams, but it was highly anticipated that the pair would re-sign with the Dodgers. Turner will earn $64 million over the next four years, and Hill will earn $48 million for the next three years.
The trio will probably put the Dodgers over the $250 million mark for the 2017 payroll. It was expensive but necessary. The Dodgers could have taken a risk in trusting youth or platoon players to fill their holes, but why take that risk when money is available. The Dodgers now have their key players back to launch their 2017 attack.
Though the big stars have been brought back to Hollywood, unsung heroes are still lost in free agency. Chase Utley and Joe Blanton are two integral pieces to the Dodgers’ 2016 success. Utley is a must sign because he won’t be signing a long-term deal or cost too much. Blanton is an inexpensive long-reliever who can play the set-up role or be the guy to get the Dodgers out of jams.
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Another point the Dodgers have been attempting to address is finding another arm to back Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. However, the Dodgers may not need to look elsewhere to find their answer. Julio Urias pitched remarkably well in the second half of the season, and pitched four lights out innings in his lone start in the postseason. Urias has the stuff to be a successful big league pitcher so perhaps he will further tap into his potential in his first full season. With Urias’ stuff, Hill’s pitcher’s brain and finesse, and the best pitcher on the planet, the Dodgers have a menacing-looking southpaw trio at the front of their rotation.
The Dodgers have also been increasingly linked to Brian Dozier. Dozier, a power right-handed second baseman, would be the final piece to the assembling the 2017 depth chart. Dozier’s age, numbers, and contract all favor the Dodgers. The only question is who will the Dodgers send to Minnesota? Again, luckily for the Dodgers the Twins are really in no position to ask for significant return as in both Cody Bellinger and Willie Calhoun. One or the other packaged with players who’ve broken through seems like a deal that will have “piqued” the interest of the Twins.
Next: Dodgers Resign Kenley Jansen Close In On Justin Turner