As of Saturday morning, the Dodgers have still yet to make a significant move this offseason. Their silence is eerily reminiscent of the 2016 Cubs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are always involved in the offseason chatter. Regardless of the situation, their name seems to always come up this time of year. The Dodgers are a big market team which fell one game short of a World Series title, so it obviously makes sense. And yet despite that, the Dodgers have been strangely silent halfway through December.
Los Angeles has been linked to names like Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado, Marcell Ozuna and any other star on the trading block. But the Dodgers passed on those big name guys, or at least look like they will. The front office seems to be focused on making it under the luxury tax threshold, especially after going over for the past five seasons. Without any major moves being made, it looks like that is a real possibility for them in 2018.
The strategy this offseason seems to be very similar to the 2016 Cubs. At least the Cubs won their first World Series since 1908. While many expected the Cubs to add players and keep their team primed for a title defense, the Cubs instead did very little. Key players to their championship such as Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman, and Jason Hammel all departed for other opportunities.
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The Cubs made few moves in terms of acquisitions, mostly just acquiring a few arms. They signed Brett Anderson to a one year deal (for a discount that wouldn’t work out) and signed Brian Duensing to a one year deal. They also signed Koji Uehara from the Red Sox, who would also go on to have a less than thrilling 2017. Their biggest move was trading Jorge Soler to the Royals for Wade Davis. Davis eventually turned in a great 2017 campaign. Not much else was done other than that in the offseason for Chicago and the usually very busy Theo Epstein.
The Dodgers seems to be taking a similar approach for 2018. General manager Farhan Zaidi and President of Operations Andrew Friedman have already publicly stated their interests for the offseason. They want to add bullpen arms, cut payroll, and maintain their current pool of talent. All things considered, probably not the worst move.
Saving money now will prepare the Dodgers for the future big contracts that their young guys are sure to demand. Not to mention a certain left-handed pitching god has an opt-out in his contract coming up.
The Cubs may not have made it past the NLCS, but that wasn’t due to a lack of spending. The Dodgers just had far too much talent, and most of their production was coming from young guys with small paydays. The Dodgers front office has a knack of finding the best bang for their buck. So while this offseason has been very dull, you can be sure they will hit pay-dirt with someone again for 2018.