The Dodgers were so close to returning to the World Series, you could truly taste it.
In three of their four losses to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Dodgers lost by a combined four runs. There were bad decisions in Game 1, silent bats in Game 2 and obviously the lingering injury to Hanley Ramirez, all of which helped the Dodgers fall short of their lofty aspirations.
Now with a few weeks between themselves and the end of the season, the talk of off-season maneuvering is nearing full speed, but Dodger fans must be weary of one thing: the future.
The Dodgers didn’t get to where they are now simply because of spending — part of it has to do with the development of players from within the organization.
Sure, the signings of Zack Greinke and Yasiel Puig along with the trades for Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford all helped, but if that was all the Dodgers had, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
From within, the Dodgers have raised: Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier (acquired via trade while in Double-A), Kenley Jansen, Chris Withrow, A.J. Ellis and others.
In fact, you could argue that the credit for how far this team made it belongs just as much on the shoulders of homegrown players as it does on the shoulders of the splashy acquisitions.
The reason I bring this up is because the Dodgers are rumored to be in the market for a number of new pieces this summer — some of whom will come with expensive price tags. The obvious person is David Price — the fantastic lefty who is rumored to be available if the bounty is right, but the question remains: should the Dodgers pursue Price?
The benefit is obvious: the best pitching staff in baseball and another young arm to pair with Clayton Kershaw for the next decade (considering re-signing him wouldn’t seem to be a problem).
But what about the cost?
The rumors have the Dodgers sending a bevy of top prospects out east in return for Price and that’s honestly the part that scares me the most.
Sure, an outfielder like Joc Pederson could be available because of the log-jam in the outfield, but would it be worth sending guys like Zach Lee, Julio Urias or Corey Seager as parts of the deal?
I think most Dodger fans have a short-term view and would like to see this team win now at any cost possible — if it means we get Price, give the Rays what they want. The problem is, what about the future?
I think the Price situation is interesting and possibly unique because of his age — 28 — and the promising future he’s sure to have in this league. But would it really make sense for LA to send a few of their top prospects (in an admittedly depleted farm system) in exchange for one guy?
Maybe Price is worth it, but what about other guys rumored to be getting interest from LA?
I’d obviously like to see the Dodgers improve this 0ff-season — specifically in the bullpen, infield and starting pitching — but at what cost?
I want to see the Dodger succeed for the next decade more than I do for the next 12 months and I hope that Dodger fans are like-minded in thinking like that.
The last thing the Dodgers can afford to is miss out on the next Pedro Martinez because they were mortgaging the future in exchange for the present.
With Kershaw, Kemp, Puig, Greinke and Ramirez (hopefully) in town for the next five years or so, the future is bright in L.A. The Dodgers aren’t in a position where the window is closing and they need to act fast — instead, while we’d all love to win a World Series next season, I think the Dodgers need to be patient in building the right team.
How they do that?
I’m not quite sure.
The good news is I’m not the guy paid to make those decisions.
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