The Dodgers are coming off the most heartbreaking way to end a season, losing game seven of the World Series.
The Dodgers will look to bounce back in 2018 coming off of the most disheartening way to end a season. Losing game seven of the World Series is the last way any player, coach, or member of the organization would want the season to end. It’s almost better to lose before making it to the World Series or getting swept in the World Series versus making it to game seven and losing.
Just like it’s easier to get over a blowout loss than a close loss, that is how it goes when it comes to losing in the World Series. While some teams suffer hangover seasons after losing the World Series, there is some hope for the Dodgers. One ray of hope is the 2015 Kansas City Royals who won the World Series after losing the World Series in 2014 to the hated ones. The Royals also lost the World Series in seven games, but they were able to bounce back and win it all the following season.
The Dodgers will look to follow the 2015 Royals blueprint and win the World Series in 2018 after losing in game seven last year. So far the off-season has been very slow and low key for the Dodgers, outside of two trades they made that netted them, Matt Kemp and Scott Alexander. The Royals also had a quiet off-season following their World Series loss as the only notable names they signed were Edinson Volquez, Joe Blanton, and Chris Young.
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The majority of the Royals big moves for 2015 were done at the trade deadline when they traded for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. The rest of their moves prior to the deadline of their World Series-winning season were low-risk high reward type moves for players coming off of injuries like Ryan Madson and Chris Young. The Dodgers appear to be trying to emulate the Royals blueprint since the biggest moves they have made this off-season have been through trades.
While a large part of the Dodgers’ lack of big moves is due to their desire to stay under the luxury tax threshold, they do not appear to be trying to make any big free agent signings this winter. The front office is content with going into the 2018 season with 95% of their roster intact from their World Series team with the big departures being Brandon Morrow and Yu Darvish. The Dodgers front office knows that just like the 2015 Royals, they can stay relatively quiet after losing the World Series, and make a big move at the trade deadline if needed.
There is a chance the Dodgers can make another trade for a front-line starting pitcher at the trade deadline just like they did this last year with Darvish, and just as the Royals did in 2015 by trading for Johnny Cueto. There is also a chance they won’t need to acquire anyone if some of the young players like Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler step up. New reliever Scott Alexander, certainly has the talent to replace Brandon Morrow and Buehler has the kind of electric stuff that Yu Darvish had. Regardless of how the 2018 season starts, we know Friedman and Farhan Zaidi will not be afraid to pull the trigger on a big deal at the trade deadline if necessary.