The Los Angeles Dodgers are maybe, kind of, sort of done with their 2021-22 offseason moves after a league-imposed lockout threw a major wrench into things beginning Dec. 1.
At that point, everything was in limbo, from the free agency of iconic left-hander Clayton Kershaw to the uncertainty of Max Muncy’s injury. Hell, we didn’t even have anything definitive on the universal DH yet!
The only certainty, at that point, was that longtime All-Star and playoff MVP shortstop Corey Seager had made the Dodgers’ World Series-winning site in Dallas his permanent home, departing Los Angeles for a long-term deal with the Texas Rangers.
Did it make sense? Somewhat. Seager valued money and security and the Dodgers might’ve valued those same things, but for Trea Turner instead.
Did it leave the Dodgers less than whole? Absolutely — and with three full months ahead of them just to stew, too.
Luckily, Andrew Friedman got up off the mat when the bell rang — as everyone knew he would — and left Seager’s departure well in the rearview with his yeoman’s work from mid-March to the end of the month.
Here’s how Friedman’s roster shuffling grades out thus far. Staggeringly, based on where the team was just a few short weeks ago, he doesn’t earn anything close to an “incomplete.”
Grading Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2022 offseason moves
Grading Dodgers’ Re-Signings
Chris Taylor: A
The Dodgers couldn’t afford to lose their glue guy, with so much prospective turnover this offseason, and they reversed course and nabbed Taylor on Dec. 1 (just before the eternal pause) on a four-year, $60 million deal. Right length, right reward, essential player. This shouldn’t sting until, say, Year 4? So who cares?
…Cody Bellinger?: B
The optics of Bellinger receiving a raise after a career-worst (and career-changing) campaign were poor, but kudos to LA’s brass for taking care of someone who once was an MVP candidate before things got dicey in arbitration. We’ve docked a grade for the clash of ideals, as well as the likelihood that this is Bellinger’s last “deal” in Los Angeles, but ultimately, it’s very much OK for the team to pay him whatever they want for just one year.
Clayton Kershaw: B+
Somewhere between a nostalgia signing and a No. 3 starter, the Dodgers could not, in good conscience, allow Kershaw to bolt already for Texas. The “+” comes from the one-year deal; they figured it out without over-committing.
Jimmy Nelson: C+
2021’s bullpen breakout, Nelson was brought back on the Tommy Kahnle deal, intended more for 2023 than 2022. Recovering from Tommy John surgery, it’s unlikely he’ll make it to a mound this year. With his injury, these funds could’ve been spent elsewhere.
Danny Duffy: C
Duffy, a hometown boy, was acquired by the 2021 Dodgers and unable to pitch, falling victim to a left flexor tendon issue that was resolved surgically over the winter. This deal also comes with a second-year option for 2023, which will likely determine the value here. For now, it seems as if the Dodgers have sentimentally paid for the back end of someone’s career who still has yet to make an impact in the middle innings.