The Los Angeles Dodgers need another high quality-starting pitcher, evident by their missing winning the World Series by one game. The organization also needs a left fielder to complement Chris Taylor in center field and Yasiel Puig in right field. Here are the two moves the Dodgers must make prior to the 2018 season to ensure their glory for the 2018 postseason.
Sign Shohei Ohtani
This two-way stud Japanese star has 42 career victories as a 23-year old pitcher and 48 home runs with 166 runs batted in. He is listed at 6’3 and 189 pounds, would be perfect in Los Angeles with its terrific Asian culture, and would assimilate nicely with a young Dodgers team and fellow Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda. If Yu Davish returns to Los Angeles, Ohtani would have another brother-in-arms (pun intended).
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If the above does not excite you, how does a 2.52 career earned run average with 624 strikeouts in 543 innings pitched sound? How about hitting .332 and .322 in the past two seasons with on-base percentages north of .400? Quite simply, Ohtani is the next Steve Nebraska without the mental issues.
Under the new Basic Agreement and deal with the Nippon Japanese Baseball Organization, all MLB teams are limited to certain financial caps on signing players from Japan so the real salesmanship here is about an investment into the community, culture, success, and potential to win now and to secure sponsorship and endorsement deals. Los Angeles is the market for all of that. Ohtani could also spell Giancarlo Stanton in left field, seeing that Stanton has had some trouble with the injury bug, which leads us to the next order of business.
Trade for Giancarlo Stanton
In playing for the 77-85 Miami Marlins in 2017, the 6’6, 245 pound, 28-year old Stanton hit a whopping 59 home runs, knocked in 132 runs, scored 123 times, and registered a .281 batting average, .376 on-base percentage, and an on-base plus slugging percentage above 1,000.
He is a Los Angeles native and would again fit into the Dodgers long-term plans as a middle of the order stud outfielder. With the Dodgers having $54 million coming off the books this year and another $60 million in 2018, the Dodgers have the wiggle room to add Stanton’s massive $200+ million contract.
The above two moves would indeed be a real coup for the Dodgers front office by adding that much star power and potential to the batting order and the pitching mound. By taking on so little salary to land Ohtani, while encompassing all of Stanton’s deal, the Dodgers would not have to part with any full-time players or major prospects. A Giancarlo Stanton for Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, and one or two prospects (depending on the prospects(s)) is something the Dodgers should swing for today.