The Los Angeles Dodgers will lower their payroll, we’ve been told; no more spending like money is burning their hands. Yet, the Dodgers were reportedly in on the Jon Lester sweepstakes with the same reportedly true during Russell Martin’s days as a free agency.
While the Dodgers didn’t land either of the marquee free agents, big names remain available, though there’s been little connection between them and the likes of James Shields or Max Scherzer. Nonetheless, because of their financial resources and desire to win now, the Dodgers are routinely mentioned as a potential landing spot for available players.
In terms of where will sign Scherzer, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman ranked the top-nine teams (taking into consideration need, history, market, finances, etc.) and has the Dodgers as fourth on the list:
Once they bid on Lester (it’s believed they were in the $155 million range), any notion they seriously intended to significantly reduce their record $250 million payroll went out the window. There’s a strong in-house belief that, barring injury, Zack Greinke will opt out after the 2015 season, breaking up the arguably the game’s best 1-2 pitching combo with Clayton Kershaw. Scherzer was spotted last week at a Lakers game in LA, but it is believed he was there to meet with other owners, not necessarily the Dodgers’ owners. They have a very strong rotation, but there also could be an innings worry here, with talented imports Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson something less than innings eaters. Regardless, they need to do what they can to make sure Kershaw, baseball’s best pitcher, is fresh for the postseason.
First on Heyman’s list are the Boston Red Sox, followed by the incumbent Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants in third. Following the Dodgers in order are the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and lastly the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers entered the offseason needing to address their starting rotation, which they’ve done in the form of Brandon McCarthy and the expected signing of Brett Anderson. However as they learned last season, they’d certainly benefit from carrying an extra starter or two on the roster.
While the Dodgers tout one of the best starting trios in all of baseball, the forecast moving forward is far from clear given Zack Greinke’s ability to opt out of his contract following the 2015 season; Greinke said during the All-Star break the outcome of Lester’s and Scherzer’s free agency would impact his decision.
If Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s claim of the team being involved with ‘really good players’ holds true in every sense, then it can be presumed the Dodgers have in some form touched base with Scherzer.