If the Dodgers do not succeed in getting the big-name free agents like Steven Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, or Gerrit Cole, the front office should take a look at these backup options.
In Andrew Friedman’s final press conference of 2019, the notion of the 2020 roster was addressed. Friedman stated that the Dodgers have a great core of players returning in 2020 and that they are not closing the door on anything, whether that involves adding a player via a trade or free agency.
However, the current trend of the front office has been to pass on the big-name free agents. If the Dodgers do miss out on the big-name players there are many back up options. Here are three free agents the Dodgers should target.
After a disappointing end to the 2019 season, the Dodgers have many options in the free agency market to help them get over the hump in 2020. The Dodgers’ main concern entering the 2020 season is pitching whether it be the bullpen or starting rotation.
With Hyun-jin Ryu and Rich Hill joining the free-agent market, that leaves two holes in the rotation. If the Dodgers lose out on top free-agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg their next best option would be RHP Zack Wheeler.
Wheeler, who went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA while also striking out 195 batters in 2019 is the next best option for LA. Unlike Cole who will be seeking a contract around 7 years and around $250 million, the Dodgers could get Wheeler for much less.
Wheeler, unlike Hill and Ryu, will be younger entering his age 30 season in 2020. Wheeler has always had the talent but injuries derailed his career with the Mets. Perhaps a change of scenery and new coaching can bring out the full potential in Wheeler.
Throughout the 2019 season, Anthony Rendon and the Dodgers have been linked as a likely destination for the MVP finalist. With Justin Turner entering the final year of his contract the Dodgers will need to replace him for the future.
However, the front office has been very reluctant to give any free agent over 100 million dollars. Anthony Rendon is going to ask for more than $200 million. However, the next best option at third base is Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson, who signed a one year deal with the Atlanta Braves had a great 2019 campaign, slashing a .259 batting average with 37 home runs, 94 RBI and an OPS of .900. Donaldson, who will be entering his age 34 season in 2020 would not provide the Dodgers a longtime solution at third but would provide the Dodgers a great right-handed bat in the lineup for 2-3 years.
Josh would take over at third base with Turner moving to first. Donaldson would be a perfect fit with the current Dodgers front office as he would only demand a 2-3 year deal under $100 million.
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The Dodgers have had a hole in their offense the past few seasons, that hole being the lack of right-handed hitters. The Dodgers have been producing left-handed hitters who dominate right-handed pitching. Although, these hitters have been able to produce great numbers most struggle against the southpaw.
The Dodgers front office had hoped to solve this problem by signing AJ Pollock in the offseason. However, Pollock as the season progressed turned into a platoon outfielder. The Dodgers can easily fix this hole by signing Nicholas Castellanos.
Castellanos, who slugged a .289 batting average, 27 home runs, 73 RBI, and an OPS of .863, along with 58 doubles! The Dodgers have been linked with Castellanos via trade with the Tigers the past few seasons, however, no team could come close to a deal.
Castellanos is unlikely to return to the Cubs due to their payroll situation which leaves the door wide open for the Dodgers. Castellanos would instantly provide a right-handed presence in the lineup to complement Justin Turner.
The Dodgers are in store for busy offseason and the fans will be keeping a close eye on every move Andrew Friedman makes. Hopefully, if the Dodgers strike out on the big names they look at these options.