5 Ways The Dodgers Can Control Their Narrative in 2020
These Dodgers want to be the New York Yankees at the turn of the century.
Seven consecutive division titles carries with it a lot of weight. In fact, only two other teams in Major League Baseball history have built playoff streaks that extended further than the current Dodgers’ run; the Atlanta Braves (14 – 1991 to 2005) and the New York Yankees (13 – 1995 to 2007).
During their seven-year run atop of the National League West, the Dodgers have won an average of 96 games and twice topped the 100-win mark (2017 and 2019). That’s a pretty impressive streak in today’s modern MLB, considering free agency and the changing landscape of how the values of youth and veterans are seen.
Being a larger market club, the Dodgers find themselves wisely straddling the line between a steady flow of youth and the ability to go out and get veteran game-changers via free agency and the trade market. In other words, this is a team that knows how to build from the ground up while also knowing how to fill holes it cannot from within?
Sound familiar? It should.
The New York Yankees arguably built a near-dynasty from that model during the mid-1990’s through the early 2000’s. The cores of those teams were constructed around young, controllable players that came up through the team’s farm system in Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera. They then saw an influx of veteran pieces like Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius, David Cone, Tino Martinez, and others that added to that core to build a championship roster. All and all, it led to four World Series titles in a five-year stretch (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000) and two further appearances in 2001 and 2003.
Similarly, the Dodgers are currently built on a young core. With the likes of Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Will Smith, Joc Pederson, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias all coming up through the Dodgers system and set to constitute a large portion of the roster, the Dodgers have been able to utilize resources elsewhere to fill in the gaps. Acquisitions like Mookie Betts, David Price, Blake Treinen, and Alex Wood hope to bolster the roster as it makes another run toward the title in 2020.
The beauty of these transactions is that the Dodgers have been able to manage to make moves without depleting their system either, leaving plenty in the tank for future runs if they can put the pieces together this season.