Dodgers reportedly eyeing another cost-effective bullpen option in free agency
The Dodgers are still looking to add to their bullpen based on the latest reports.
There are two areas of focus in Los Angeles right now: third base and the bullpen. With Justin Turner’s situation still unresolved, Andrew Friedman is going buck wild on the relief market, adding Blake Treinen, Corey Knebel, Brandon Morrow and Tommy Kahnle — and he’s not done yet.
A report dropped on Monday suggesting the Dodgers are interested in yet another cost-effective reliever. Former Cubs and Brewers right-hander Jeremy Jeffress is a free agent and his market is heating up as we speak.
The Dodgers are among eight teams reportedly in on the veteran, with competition from NL foes. At this point, however, price isn’t going to be that much of a concern for Los Angeles because there’s no way they can bring in another reliever and a third baseman and remain under the $210 million luxury tax threshold unless they trade someone.
We’d venture to say the Dodgers have the upper hand if they want to, especially since they can offer him the best situation protected among other impact arms.
The 33-year-old owns a career 3.08 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 414 games across 11 MLB seasons. Though his most recent full season in 2019 was a disaster (5.02 ERA, 1.37 WHIP), that was sandwiched in between a career year with the Brewers in 2019 and a resurgent campaign with the Cubs in the shortened 2020.
At this point, it’s a formidable depth option for LA given their by committee approach in the bullpen. Jeffress doesn’t strike out a lot of batters (8.2 K/9) but he used to be a closer/setup man, so his experience in high-leverage situations could go a long way.
The Dodgers know better than anyone: pitching depth is the most important asset you can have. They possess a plethora of starters, and by the way things look in regards to their bullpen approach this offseason, they want a surplus in every possible corner of the staff.
That should be an uneasy feeling for everyone else in the NL looking to compete with the defending world champs.