3 risks Dodgers can still take to upgrade their bullpen

St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Los Angeles Dodgers are caught in between at the moment, transitioning off several beloved players in the lineup in order to Let The Kids Play, while also attempting to cover for the loss of Walker Buehler with a few patented Mark Prior additions.

Despite both areas of the roster being in flux, there's at least a familiar plan in place for both. The Dodgers' bullpen? Uh ... next.

Where's the patented injury recovery? Where's the mid-Tommy John rehab addition who can help down the line? Where's the total wild card -- well, other than Shelby Miller?

The Dodgers somehow managed not to be tempted by Matt Barnes after the Red Sox DFA'd him, even though he might as well have been fitted for Dodger Blue the second his name hit the waiver wire. That means there's still work for Andrew Friedman to do, and that work probably doesn't involve doling out $9 million to Matt Moore or Andrew Chafin.

These three risky moves could help the Dodgers flesh out their bullpen, though patience could be a virtue when dealing with all three players.

3 risky Dodgers moves that can change 2023 bullpen

Will Smith, LHP

Let's! Get! Both!

While Catcher Will Smith's future might not be as long in Los Angeles as once planned, the 33-year-old left-handed reliever he once victimized could play a key role on the 2023 roster, if the Dodgers are willing to buy into what the Houston Astros figured out down the stretch in 2022.

Between his time in Milwaukee, San Francisco and Atlanta, Smith has been one of the game's great lefty semi-closers for nearly a decade, but his '22 season started off weakly after a 2021 that stretched all the way through the end of the World Series.

Down the stretch in Houston post-deadline, though, Smith maintained his wipeout slider (41 Ks in 37 first-half innings, 24 in 22 frames with the Astros) while rediscovering his control (21 walks in the ATL, just four in Houston).

Smith isn't a sure thing. Any reliever entering his mid-30s has his hands on a red flag in his pocket even if he's not waving it yet. That said, the Dodgers' depth chart is lacking sure things, and Smith could be a marquee addition at a less-than-hefty price.