How will LA Beef up Their Bullpen?
The Dodgers bullpen was once again leaky in the World Series for the second consecutive year. In 2017 it was Brandon Morrow burning out and Kenley Jansen faltering multiple times. In 2018, it was Kenley Jansen once again faltering in two-inning saves as the Dodgers lacked a dominant setup man for the eighth inning.
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The Dodgers have plenty of solid middle inning relievers like Dylan Floro, Pedro Baez, and Scott Alexander but they lack a true stopper for the eighth inning. To avoid using Jansen in two-inning bursts, the Dodgers must make an elite setup man one of their top needs this winter. If not we could be headed for three straight years of the same result in 2019.
Luckily for the Dodgers, this year’s free agent class for relievers is stocked with good relievers. Adam Ottavino, David Robertson, Kelvin Herrera, and Andrew Miller are all free agents who would make sense for the Dodgers. While Friedman has made shrewd moves for relievers like Alexander and Floro, this winter he needs to go out and get an elite option.
While much has been made about Dave Roberts’ decisions like leaving Jansen in for two innings, some of the blame is on the front office for not getting him any elite options for his bullpen. The free agent market can be a scary place for relievers, fellow Dodger Brandon Morrow has been injury plagued since signing with Cubs. Still, the Dodgers need to make a calculated gamble and sign a top-tier reliever.
While the biggest headlines will be made at the winter meetings by whomever signs Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, the Dodgers don’t need to make big headlines to give themselves a better shot of winning the World Series in 2019. An elite reliever would be exactly that type of move.