The Los Angeles Dodgers have some work to do this offseason, but might be balling on a budget.
Then again … does anyone really have the financial capacity that Andrew Friedman does to play around in the top-tier starting pitching market?
As things stand, the Jacob deGrom/Justin Verlander/Carlos Rodón chase consists of some grouping of the Dodgers, Mets and Rangers. The current favorites for deGrom and Rodón are New York and Texas … which is why Verlander’s Zoom with the Dodgers is getting so much attention, vaulting them into the prohibitive lead.
According to manager Dave Roberts on an episode of The Athletic’s Starkville podcast that dropped Thursday, he’s been involved in Zooming with plenty of free agent pitchers, and reiterated the team’s (obvious) interest in Verlander and deGrom.
At the moment — even considering payroll sensitivity — the Dodgers seem likely to outbid the Astros for Verlander’s services, though don’t count out Jim Crane the Wild Man, who’s been doing his own GMing down there in Houston.
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With Trea Turner ever likelier to depart for greener (East Coast) pastures, the Dodgers have been forced to do some thinking about alternatives at the shortstop position in recent days, too.
According to Roberts’ Starkville interview, the team’s interest in moving Gavin Lux over to shortstop (finally, after years of waiting and developing!) is very much real.
Roberts also added that he loved having Turner. Past tense. Lux’s time is very much upon us.
Additionally, shoutout to the Dodgers for pouncing on their first bullpen target of the offseason: Shelby Miller, who’s been working really hard these past few years to reshape his pitches, and might’ve finally locked into something with the Giants at the tail end of 2021. Reaping what San Francisco sowed on a $1.5 million base salary (packed with “games relieved” incentives) wouldn’t be so bad.
- Did Xander Bogaerts “sever ties” with the Boston Red Sox, per Peter Gammons? Scott Boras says not so, but he just added the San Diego Padres to his Christmas Card list.
- The Philadelphia Phillies are the reported front-runners for Trea Turner and won’t be denied in the shortstop market this offseason, just like we warned you.
- Rest in peace to the legendary Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, who doctored a baseball so successfully he’d make the Houston Astros blush. Absolute icon.