The Los Angeles Dodgers need pitching and will probably dedicate most of their spending to that (plus Shohei Ohtani) in free agency, but there are also a few other concerns throughout the roster. This team needs a couple of outfielders and potentially a couple of infielders.
It doesn't matter how good the offense was during the regular season. The Dodgers, for the second year in a row with a similar core of players, wasted a 100-plus win roster and got bounced in the NLDS by a Wild Card team.
Gavin Lux will be returning from a torn ACL, but the Dodgers need to insure themselves on that front because he hasn't played since 2022. The statuses of Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch are anybody's guess. Max Muncy probably can't be the everyday starting third baseman any longer. There's no way the team wants to keep using Mookie Betts at second and shortstop.
The only constant here is first baseman Freddie Freeman. Just because the Dodgers do a great job at piecing things together doesn't mean more stability isn't needed. So what options might be out there on the trade market?
We don't know for sure just yet, but MLB insider Alden Gonzalez (subscription required) pondered if the Dodgers might "rekindle" trade talks for Arenado over the next month or so.
Dodgers Rumors: MLB insider revives Nolan Arenado trade buzz ahead of offseason
For years, fans have dreamed of Nolan Arenado coming to LA to take over at the hot corner. Though he's entering his age-33 season come 2024, he's still an elite defender and his bat hasn't slowed (and we're not going to read much into a cursed 2023 season for the Cardinals).
That said ... are there any massive "pros" here? Arenado is an all-world talent and feels like a seamless Dodgers fit. He's owed $109 million through the 2027 season (good for a $27.25 AAV), which isn't bad. He definitely provides a little bit of "edge" to a Dodgers roster that lacks it.
The cons, however? He has just eight games of postseason experience and is 1-for-12 in his last three dating back to 2021. The Cardinals have done nothing but disappoint despite a star-studded roster for a few years now -- something eerily similar to what's been happening in LA. He would make more on an annual basis than Freeman, as their contracts are set to expire at the same time.
The Dodgers have done a great job making themselves financially flexible over the last few offseasons, which has to be good for something. Arenado's addition shouldn't interrupt that, either, but is there something better out there for the same price or less? Does someone like Arenado represent what the Dodgers are really missing?
Andrew Friedman has plenty of trade chips to dangle when the time comes, but with a largely barren free agent class, he might need to tread carefully with how he cashes in those assets. Fans wouldn't necessarily be opposed to importing Arenado, but if we dig a bit deeper, there's a greater likelihood LA might be able to better utilize their resources to completely alter their postseason misfortunes. We'll eventually take a stab at that, but for now, knowing how Friedman's front office operates, his money and prospect capital need to be managed with caution. It doesn't seem like there will be a spending spree of any kind.