A lot has been made of the lack of moves that the Los Angeles Dodgers made last offseason and frankly, those criticisms are fair. Instead of really leveraging their deep pockets like they usually do, LA was decidedly quiet and only really inked one-year deals while letting some key players like Trea Turner, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger walk in free agency.
There are plenty of potentially good reasons why the Dodgers did what they did, though. They are still on the hook for a chunk of Trevor Bauer's hefty contract after they released him which 1) is a lot of 2023 money that isn't doing anything to make the club better and 2) is essentially the only reason they are still paying the luxury tax this season. This is compounded by the worst kept secret in baseball that the team wants to make a strong play for Shohei Ohtani when he becomes a free agent, so saving some payroll now makes them more likely to be able to spending big to nab him.
None of those reasons are likely to make Dodger fans feel much better right now, though, especially since it seems like several teams are going to be willing to break the bank to try and go after Ohtani. At the end of the day, the team didn't make moves to improve the 2023 roster and saw some really good players leave that could have helped in 2023 and beyond. Here are some of the players that left this past offseason that could have probably helped the Dodgers in 2023.
3 players Dodgers wish they hadn't let walk in 2023 offseason
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, especially with the benefit of hindsight in the wake of Gavin Lux suffering a freak season-ending knee injury, but it is worth mentioning. Through the team's first 30 games, the Dodgers have posted -0.4 fWAR from the shortstop position in 2023, which is third worst in the league. It is not particularly shocking that the combination of Chris Taylor and Miguel Rojas is not awesome, but the dropoff in production from the days of Corey Seager and Trea Turner is still rough.
Again, it is understandable WHY the Dodgers decided not to bring Turner back. He was widely reported as preferring to play for a team on the east coast and, more importantly, he was incredibly expensive, as he ended up signing a 11 year, $300 million deal with the Phillies. Moreover, the team thought they had an inexpensive replacement in-house with Lux. Unfortunately, Lux got hurt and messed up the Dodgers' best laid plans.