The Los Angeles Dodgers have their hands full this offseason with a lot of different variables in play. In addition to being smack dab in the middle of the chase to sign the two biggest names on the free agent market in Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they also have to figure out how to completely fill out their ravaged rotation, bolster their bullpen, and figure out who is going to be playing left field.
If any team can dominate an offseason like that and come out ahead, it's the Dodgers. However, that doesn't make the challenge any less daunting even with all of the resources LA has at their disposal.
Fortunately, this free agent market lines up well with the Dodgers' needs as it;s deep with pitching and has some outfielders that could help them in 2024 (even if the long-term upside isn't there). But perhaps better than that, some of the available guys happen to be coming from some of the Dodgers' fiercest rivals in the National League West. There are few things sweeter than stealing a good player from within the division and watching their fan base completely melt down. Their tears are delicious.
Making life more difficult for the Padres, Giants, Rockies and D-backs is something any Dodgers fan would sign up for.
5 free agents the Dodgers can steal from their NL West foes
Snell is an easy choice here. Not only is he one of the absolute best starting pitchers on the free agent market this offseason, but he's also coming off a spectacular campaign with the Padres. In 32 starts in 2023, Snell posted a 2.25 ERA with 234 strikeouts in 180 innings of work, which made him the runaway winner of the NL Cy Young award.
The early projections for Snell's upcoming contract have been coming in at around five years and $125 million, which, if last offseason taught us anything, may be a tad light. At that level of cost, Snell may only be in play if LA misses out on Ohtani. However, signing Yamamoto or another higher-end starter shouldn't take the Dodgers out of the running for his services.
Right now, the Dodgers are among a number of suitors for Snell despite his questionable walk rate and durability, but the market hasn't really defined itself just yet with just Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, and Kenta Maeda off the market among starting pitchers. Once more rotation arms start getting signed, the rest of the league's focus will be more clear. However, everyone should expect the Dodgers to be involved until the bitter end on Snell which should have Padres fans' dwindling hopes and dreams on life support.