It’s been 26 excruciatingly long, agonizing days since Game 7 of the World Series. Nearly four weeks, and that $5k spent to sit in the Top Deck of Dodger Stadium to watch the Astros celebrate seems more and more like wasted money with every passing day.
But 26 days can drastically change a perspective. It took nearly a week before we were emotionally able to read anything about the Dodgers, and only then because that particular Dodger Way article didn’t mention 2017, but instead focused on what the Dodgers could do to ensure a World Series championship in 2018, putting an end to what would then be a 30-year nightmare.
Re-sign Yu Darvish. Kick the tires on J.D. Martinez. Trade for Giancarlo Stanton. Bring back Brandon Morrow. Let Chase Utley go. Double-dip with Shohei Ohtani. Everyone has their opinion, and that’s how it should be. It’s what makes the Hot Stove season the best offseason in sports.
What to do?
But what should the Dodgers really do? This: Sit tight. There’s no need to jump into anything until at least mid-December. No matter who the Dodgers may or may not have interest in signing or trading for, nothing is going to happen any time soon.
The General Managers’ meetings were two weeks ago. That was when the groundwork was laid for trades and free agent signings. But, as usual, not much got done. The Winter Meetings begin Dec. 10. That’s when fans can expect the fireworks to begin.
Know this: Andrew Friedman & Co. will look at every possibility between now and then. They will not make a single move without first putting every deal up on a rack and giving it the most thorough inspection possible.
A realistic look
Should the Dodgers re-sign Darvish? Probably not. It wouldn’t be the best public relations move and probably wouldn’t give the Dodgers the best shot at another World Series appearance.
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Darvish went a respectable 4-3 after coming over to the Dodgers in a deadline deal last July. However, is Darvish really the player the Dodgers can count on to take them to the next level? His overall earned run average has increased every year since 2013, he’ll be 35 at the end of a presumed five-year deal, and his exorbitant price tag will be an albatross around the Dodgers neck for half a decade. He’s a combined 2-4 with a 5.81 ERA in six post-season starts while allowing nearly three home runs per every nine post-season innings.
Darvish’s 2018 projected totals, per Baseball Reference, show a 9-10 record with a 3.98 ERA, a 1.221 WHIP and a 10/3 strikeout to walk ratio. All this in 163 innings. Not exactly workhorse-like numbers.
Should the Dodgers kick the tires on Martinez? Absolutely. Kicking tires come with no obligations. His 45 home runs, 103 runs batted in and .303/.376/.690 slash line are game-changing numbers for sure. But again, his ZiPS projected price tag of five years/$100.8 million ($20.16M AAV) probably keeps him off the Dodgers’ radar.
Should the Dodgers trade for Stanton? Yes. And no. He would take the Dodgers from elite to, well, whatever is above elite. But, his remaining 10 years and $295 million is a lot of dough for a guy who will be 38 in the final year of his deal. (Can anyone say, Albert Pujols?).
Should the Dodgers bring back Morrow? There’s probably not a clear answer to that one. He was the perfect setup man for Kenley Jansen this year, but he has had his share of injuries throughout his career, and he will be 34 midway through next season.
Should the Dodgers let Utley walk? Probably. But, who knows? 0-for-the-postseason is hard to overlook for someone who was supposed to be a “veteran leader” in the playoffs.
Another Dodgers import?
Should the Dodgers jump into the deep end for Ohtani? Not really. He’s more of an American League player because he wants to pitch once a week and hit the rest of the week, making DH his optimum position. (The Dodgers also will only be allowed to pay Ohtani a $300,000 signing bonus as part of the penalty for over-spending during a previous international free agent signing period. The fact that Ohtani isn’t waiting until he’s 25 to come to America shows he probably doesn’t care about the nine-figure deal he could sign after 25 and is instead looking for the right fit for him as a two-way baseball player).
Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi and the 137 other former GMs currently working in the Dodgers’ front office are smarter than we are. They’re all paid a whole lot of money to put together the best team possible, with both short- and long-term goals in mind. Dodger fans want this trade or that free agent. And they want it now.
Sit tight, friends. Twenty-six days isn’t nearly long enough to make those kinds of emotional decisions.