2. Dodgers’ Depth Was Affected
Speaking of letting those players go, we’re referring to Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez, both of whom were postseason revelations. Pederson is in the World Series right now with the Atlanta Braves and Hernandez made MLB playoff history with the Boston Red Sox.
We know it was impossible for the Dodgers to keep both. Hernandez would’ve been especially difficult because he wanted more playing time in the form of a starting job, which was something the Dodgers couldn’t offer with Cody Bellinger in center field and top prospect Gavin Lux in need of a promotion.
But Pederson could’ve easily fit. In fact, he told reporters after Game 2 of the NLCS that he actually approached the Dodgers last offseason and said wanted to stay and make it work. Everyone continues to rebuke that with “but Joc wanted to be a starter, it wouldn’t have been possible,” while ignoring what Pederson himself said.
And Mookie never would’ve re-signed in Boston anyway, right? Listen to yourselves.
And even so, that argument doesn’t hold any weight. Joc “in a starting role” this past season received 429 at-bats. With the Dodgers, he received 450 in 2019, 395 in 2018, 406 in 2016 and 480 in 2015. LA always found time for him. They made the mistake of thinking they could bolster their roster with Bauer and let an October legend take a one-year, prove-it deal in free agency.
They also let Jake McGee and Alex Wood go to the San Francisco Giants, which played a role in LA losing the division and being taxed beyond belief by the time the NLCS arrived.
Don’t sit here and tell us that the front office’s grand plan of creating a super rotation didn’t affect the rest of the team’s depth. Because it did.