Dodgers: Free Agent Targets To Strengthen the Bullpen

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Zach Britton /

The Dodgers’ 2018 was yet another shortcoming for the boys in blue who came so close once again but just could not get the job done. Even throughout the regular season, the Dodgers had trouble piecing together the puzzle as they had to go to game 163 to claim the NL West title for a sixth straight season.

One of the Dodgers’ main issues in 2018 was their bullpen. The Dodgers’ pen was one of the best in the game the year prior. Jansen was lights out, but most importantly, they had a consistent setup man in Brandon Morrow.

Morrow headed to Chicago last off-season and his absence was felt this past season as Los Angeles did not have a sturdy late-inning reliever besides Jansen, who himself was shaky throughout the year. Baez has always seemed like a viable option to be the set-up man but tends to succumb to the pressure in big moments.

Although Baez stepped it up in the postseason and pitched remarkably well. Trading for Dylan Floro was a good move by the front office in July. The righty bolstered a 1.63 ERA for the Dodgers after they acquired him and was a key component in their pen.

Jansen struggled with a heart condition for a good amount of time last season and chose to pitch through it. He is set to have heart surgery to try to fix this reoccurring issue. Even if Kenley comes back healthier and stronger than the previous year, the Dodgers will still need more than Baez and Floro to get the Dodgers into the ninth to set-up Jansen.

Baez and Floro are still great options, but the Dodgers need that reliever they missed in Morrow to pitch in the eighth inning to get to their closer. There are plenty of relievers out there on the market and the Dodgers might have to shell out some cash to acquire one.

Some reliable choices would be Zach Britton, Greg Holland, Joakim Soria, Tyler Clippard or Andrew Miller. Most of these names listed have been a closer in the past or are still considered closers. Picking up one of these players would be a substantial addition to their pen.

Zach Britton had an incredible year in 2016 as he held a 0.54 ERA with 47 saves. Although he has not pitched exactly like that the following two years, he has been a solid reliever and would definitely help out the Dodgers.

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Greg Holland is one year removed from leading the league in saves. He struggled last year and was shipped from St. Louis to Washington where he figured things out going from a 7.92 ERA with the Cardinals to a 0.84 ERA with the Nationals.

The Dodgers fought their way past Joakim Soria in the NLCS and had an easy time doing so. This should not scare away Friedman from going after the 34-year-old. His best days may be behind him, but Soria still has what it takes to be a strong addition in Los Angeles.

Tyler Clippard has bounced around the league since departing from the Nationals. He has been a quality reliever for his teams and is no stranger to high pressure situations. Clippard is exactly what the Dodgers need, a veteran reliever with postseason experience.

Andrew Miller is one more dependable pitcher that could strengthen the Dodgers’ bullpen. Miller may be coming off a poor year, but with his track record, he is poised to bounce back. Miller has been arguably one of the best relievers in baseball for some time now, and he would be a huge addition to  Roberts’ team.

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There is a plethora of talent in this free-agent class with stars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado drawing the eyes of MLB organizations. The Dodgers need to keep a level head and go after what they truly need. A solid set-up man is a must if the Dodgers want to claim that evasive World Series title.