Dodgers: How early offseason moves around MLB affect LA’s strategy
As many fringe teams and contenders have begun adding mid-level pieces, the Dodgers have stood pat to start the 2019-20 offseason.
Does this mean the Dodgers are looking into the big three stars in Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, and Stephen Strasburg (as John Heyman reported) before they settle for mid-level pieces? Or does it mean they have no intention of adding free agents at all, but instead are looking to accumulate prospects to make a big-time trade for star power?
Either way, while the team has been sitting back on their heels, some intriguing pieces like Zach Wheeler, Cole Hamels, Will Smith, Jonathan Villar, and more have been snagged, leaving some fans puzzled as to why their team has been so inactive.
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Personally, I am a fan of the offseason flurries going on this December, but I am also ready for the Dodgers to make a move. As the market shrinks, prices will certainly dwindle, as contingency plans for the stars are being scooped up before the stars can set their own markets.
If the Dodgers wanted to add a starting pitcher today, Wheeler and Hamels being off of the board gives Cole, Strasburg, and Hyun-Jin Ryu far more bargaining power than they had a few days ago. The Dodgers already seem unwilling to spend major sums, so this sort of price increase does not bode well for their chances of adding a stud on the mound,
Similarly, early offseason bullpen additions (mostly by the Atlanta Braves) have limited the Dodgers’ ceiling in terms of how many new arms they can add. Will Harris and Dellin Betances obviously are the top targets, as is Blake Treinen, but certainly, all three of these arms will see competition, and consequently price increases, since Drew Pomeranz, Chris Martin, and Smith are off of the board.
At the plate, the Boys in Blue have lost less ground. Josh Donaldson and Rendon still are available and unlikely to see increased costs even with Villar and Mike Moustakas off of the board. Plus, as long as some options for the lineup, like Nic Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna, and Didi Gregorius stay in play, the cost for Francisco Lindor may stay slightly lower as well.
For now, there are still too many big names on the market to now how the Dodgers have done this offseason, but so far at least, it seems the Braves and others have beaten LA to the punch on filling out their rotation, bullpen, and infield with solid free agents.