LA fans can all agree the Dodgers need an infusion of something. Some might argue against bringing back former players that were also members of past Dodgers teams that fell short in the playoffs, but let's not forget three World Series appearances from 2017-2020 is still an incredible achievement.
Ever since the team's shortened-season title, the front office has gradually deconstructed that winner. It started with letting Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson -- two bonafide playoff heroes -- leave in free agency. Then came the 2021 offseason, when Corey Seager, Joe Kelly and Kenley Jansen all departed without much of a fight. Then came the final batch after 2022, when Cody Bellinger was non-tendered, Justin Turner was hung out to dry in free agency, and no time was spent trying to keep Trea Turner (he was irrelevant to the 2020 roster, but it marked the second time in a calendar year the Dodgers willingly allowed a star shortstop to sign elsewhere).
Maybe they went a little too far? Maybe keeping a few of those guys around would've helped maintain their postseason prowess from 2021-2023? Even with the NLCS appearance in 2021, it never felt like the Dodgers were winning that year. They unnecessarily battled a flukey 107-win Giants and were exhausted and injured right before they ran into the red-hot Braves.
There's obviously no clear-cut solution for the Dodgers to fix what seem to be intangible issues, but maybe welcoming back a few familiar faces/clubhouse stalwarts could be a start. It'd also help improve the team's depth, which has been dreadful for two straight years now.
4 former Dodgers that could return to LA this winter
Ryu might not have been the most memorable Dodger, but he was here from 2013-2019, and finished second in the Cy Young voting (his first All-Star season) before departing in free agency. He might not have had a good playoff track record, but the Dodgers need pitching this offseason, and they're not above acquiring anybody with a working arm and a pulse.
Ryu's contract with the Blue Jays was essentially a bust. They got 60 starts out of him across four high-priced seasons because of more injury troubles for the left-hander. And what's the Dodgers favorite kind of player to acquire? A depreciated asset due to injury, underperformance, or increasing age. Ryu checks all three boxes.
This wouldn't be an integral signing. It'd be more for depth/veteran presence, with Ryu entering his age-37 season and having not pitched more than 169 innings since 2019. Maybe he can recapture a semblance of his form where it all began.