Dodgers: Adding Stanton Was a Luxury Not a Necessity

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 30: Giancarlo Stanton
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 30: Giancarlo Stanton /

Saturday morning news came that Giancarlo Stanton is headed to the Yankees. While it would have been fun having him on the Dodgers, he was not a necessity.

The Stanton sweepstakes are over for the Dodgers as he appears headed to the Yankees.  While it would have been fun to see Bellinger and Stanton mash forty or more home runs each, adding Stanton was never part of the Dodgers’ off-season plan.  In fact, we still don’t know if the Dodgers were truly invested in acquiring Stanton.

This off-season was abruptly started after a game seven loss that will stick in the minds of the Dodgers forever.  Their priorities are to either re-sign or replace Brandon Morrow, add an additional reliever with Tony Watson now a free agent, and to possibly add another starting pitcher.  The Dodgers are unlikely to use big money to shore up their needs since they are trying to get under the luxury tax in the next year or two.

Adding Giancarlo Stanton would have given the Dodgers a very good left fielder, but they currently have plenty of cost-efficient options for left field like Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson, and Alex Verdugo.  I’m not saying any of those options are better than Stanton, but given the Dodgers have been mandated to comply with the luxury tax by MLB, it just wasn’t possible.  This doesn’t mean the Dodgers won’t upgrade left field if they find an upgrade that fits into their price range.

In fact, the Dodgers are rumored to be already talking with the Marlins for Marcell Ozuna who hit 37 home runs this year and is much cheaper than Stanton.  There is also Yelich who may be available as part of the Marlins next fire sale, and there are still free agents like Lorenzo Cain.  The Dodgers outfield situation is fine as it currently stands but if they decide to pursue an upgrade, there are still plenty of options that actually fit their plans.

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The Dodgers biggest needs right now are a couple of bullpen arms to bridge the late innings to Kenley Jansen, and possibly another starting pitcher since many of the current rotation members are injury prone.  Stanton would have been a big get, but he is not going to come out of the bullpen to hold leads for Kenley Jansen or start a playoff game on the mound for the Dodgers.  Afterall, the reason the Dodgers were quickly knocked out of the game in game seven was due to a very bad start by Yu Darvish.

The current lineup for the Dodgers would include plenty of great hitters like Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner.  That doesn’t even mention Yasiel Puig who had a resurgent season or the best catching duo in baseball of Yasmani Grandal or Austin Barnes.  The weakest hitter in the lineup projects to be Logan Forsythe who is a gamer and will do all the little things it takes to win games.  The Dodger offense is strong without Stanton and could even be elite if someone could emerge from the pack of left fielders in spring training.

Next: Another home town player for the Dodgers to fish for

The Dodgers will try to bolster their roster this coming week at the winter meetings but as it currently stands, the Dodgers are the odds on favorite to win the World Series next season.  On paper they will return with a strong roster that will be even better next season if the young core continues to get better.  As we saw with the Manny Ramirez days, adding an elite power hitter helps your team but doesn’t guarantee anything in the post-season.  Stanton would have been fun to watch at Chavez Ravine, but without him the Dodgers are still the team to beat in the National League.