Grading every important offseason move the Dodgers made to set up Yamamoto deal

Los Angeles Dodgers Introduce Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Dodgers Introduce Shohei Ohtani / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to one-year, $9 million deal

Grade: B

After rough seasons with the Cubs in 2021 and 2022, Heyward's struggles at the plate had him on the verge of being unplayable at the major league level, despite still being a good defensive outfielder. In 2023, however, Heyward's bat was rejuvenated with the Dodgers, leading to a season with 15 HR and an .813 OPS. Paired with 6 Outs Above Average in right field, as well as his role in mentoring OF James Outman throughout his breakout season, and Heyward put together a very solid season for L.A.

Entering his 15th season, Heyward's role will likely be as the Dodgers' primary right fielder (definitely against righty starters), especially given Betts' likely transition to playing a majority of his games as a second baseman. Heyward was a solid piece for L.A. in 2023, and this deal was warranted given his contributions.

Dodgers sign RHP Joe Kelly to one-year, $8 million deal

Grade: B

Kelly is a longtime fan favorite and turned in some good outings down the stretch after he was traded from the White Sox to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. Kelly had a 4.97 ERA in 29 innings with the White Sox, but thrived with the Dodgers, posting a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings. While Kelly's appearances were limited by injuries late in the season, he still had a good enough stint with L.A. that the Dodgers wanted him back for the 2024 season. The Dodgers saved some money with this deal by declining Kelly's $9.5 million club option for the season, and Kelly fills the need the Dodgers had for some more veteran arms in the bullpen.