The Winter Meetings have come and gone and several MLB teams improved greatly with the moves that they made in San Diego. The Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, objectively got less talented as several big-name players left the team for new cities.
It is clear that the team is trusting the youth in the farm system to have a role in 2023 — for better or worse. The moves that the team has made have been minimal at best, with many fans frustrated at the current status of the 2023 team.
Ironically, the Dodgers made another minimal move to potentially replace Cody Bellinger with the most ironic former all-star they could have possibly signed. It is just a Minor League deal, but you cannot help but laugh at this one.
For those that might not be privy to the joke, Bellinger often became compared to Jason Heyward over his last two years in Los Angeles. Heyward, like Bellinger, was a big-name outfielder who exploded when he was young and saw his bat diminish as time went on. Heyward, like Bellinger, eventually turned into a solid defensive center fielder that could not do much in the box.
The Dodgers’ outfield situation is bleak, even with Jason Heyward.
Andrew Friedman still has plenty of time to add more reinforcements and the team certainly has the money to do so. However, if the Dodgers are not going to spend this offseason it is strange to see the organization just let Bellinger walk away from a one-year deal.
It would be one thing if the organization was allocating those funds to other talent — which they still could. But if they don’t, it is going to leave many fans frustrated with the product that is on the field in 2023.
The outfield situation is particularly bleak right now. Outside of Mookie Betts, the team’s other options in the outfield consist of Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson and James Outman. This writer is as high on Outman as physically possible, but having a utility man in Taylor and a journeyman in Thompson be the other two options in the outfield is not great.
Taylor is going to be spending a lot of time in the infield with the departure of Trea Turner and the potential departure of Justin Turner. Thompson was a good story last season but a multi-billion dollar sports franchise like the Dodgers shouldn’t be trusting in a project to keep up that production next season.
That is all Heyward is as well — a project for the Dodgers. A minor-league signing that the team hopes to maximize so it can flex its small-market muscles like Friedman is still running the Tampa Bay Rays.
Trea Turner left the Los Angeles Dodgers and somehow gave LA fans a reason to laugh at the San Diego Padres yet again. It never gets old.
This is the Los Angeles Dodgers, not the Tampa Bay Rays. Jason Heyward simply is not good enough and fans better hope that more is on the horizon.