The Dodgers have been ultra quiet this winter not announcing an Andrew Friedman extension and now sneaking in meetings with two big free agents.
The Dodgers’ front office is known to be tight-lipped in refusing to let rumors escape the war room of Chavez Ravine. The club has not yet formally announced an extension for Andrew Friedman and now the team has flown under the radar to meet with Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon who are two of the top free agents this winter.
Stephen Strasburg is in Southern California to meet with teams this week and met with the Dodgers last week. The blue has also already met with Anthony Rendon and some believe that Rendon will be the first big free agent to sign this winter. Rendon fits into the Dodgers’ plans well as he will consider a shorter-term contract in exchange for a higher annual salary.
Stephen Strasburg will turn 32 years old next season so his contract will likely range in the five-year range which makes him a more reasonable target than top starter Gerrit Cole. The Nationals are considered the favorites for Strasburg although he is from San Diego so playing in Los Angeles could appeal to him.
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The race for Anthony Rendon features the Nationals, Texas Rangers, and the Dodgers with more teams likely to enter the fray. Rendon is from Houston so the Rangers could appeal to him the same way that a southern California team could appeal to Stephen Strasburg. The Dodgers are said to have coveted Rendon for a while so he could end up Friedman’s first star signing as Dodger President of Baseball Operations.
Rendon helped lead the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title and the Dodgers could use some more offensive firepower in October. He would also allow the Dodgers to shift Justin Turner across the diamond to first base which would allow him to stay healthy throughout the season. Turner’s defense slipped a bit last season and he is in the final year of his contract.
Gerrit Cole is also meeting with teams this week including the New York Yankees so unlike last winter, the free-agent market appears to be moving quickly with Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas already signing new contracts. The Winter Meetings begin next week so the hot stove should start cranking out plenty of rumors then.