1. Late bullpen arms
Kenley Jansen is a free agent this offseason and it would be legitimately shocking to see him return to the Dodgers. Jansen had a tremendous season and postseason for LA in 2021 and that is naturally going to drive his price up with a team that needs a closer.
Re-signing Jansen five years ago was reportedly an ownership call, and if the front office was hesitant to re-sign Jansen in 2016, they are definitely not going to overpay for him when he is five years older.
That leaves a massive hole at the closer position that has been filled by Jansen for nearly a decade. Someone is going to have to take the ball in the ninth inning. Having good arms to throw late in games can legitimately be the difference between a 100-win team and a 90-win team, and that is why this is so important.
The leading candidate to take over the closer position is Blake Treinen, who has been pretty good in LA and is in the last year of his contract. However, Treinen has been the high-leverage relief arm in the postseason and the set-up man in the regular season. That role has to be replaced as well.
Brusdar Graterol is a candidate and a good one, but the Dodgers need more options than that, especially considering Joe Kelly is a free agent and the team doesn’t really have any great left-handed relievers.
Only time will tell how the Dodgers address this — with a sure thing for multiple years? With another big swing like Tommy Kahnle? Stay tuned.