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After the San Francisco Giants took the World Series, all eyes have turned to the offseason.
The Los Angeles Dodgers already made a huge move by hiring Andrew Friedman as their President of Baseball Operations and reassigning general manager Ned Colletti to an advisor position.
With the conclusion of the World Series, the Dodgers now have the winter to improve their team as the first step towards finally reaching their goal of a title.
Here’s a checklist of what the Dodgers need to do this offseason. Ranked in order of importance:
5. Address The Catcher Position
A.J. Ellis was a monster in the postseason, but that didn’t erase his .191 batting average in the regular season. Not only did his hitting suffer, but his defense wasn’t much better.
Ellis’ handling of the pitching staff is still widely praised; however, there are upgrades that can handle a staff. Kershaw has publicly stated his desire for Ellis to return and he could, just in a lesser role.
Russell Martin has been the biggest name to be linked to the Dodgers, and that’s mostly because he spent the beginning of his career in Los Angeles. He would provide a huge upgrade at the plate and his intensity would be welcome in the clubhouse.
There isn’t much else in the free agent market, making a trade for a catcher possible. It will be up to Friedman and the staff if they believe Ellis has become a role player rather than a starter.
If Ellis is the starter in 2015, it would not be the end of the world, but an upgrade would be welcome with open arms.
4. Rotation Depth
Through the first half of the season, the Dodgers had one of the best rotations in all of baseball. Then injuries picked off Josh Beckett and to a lesser extent Paul Maholm, sidelined Hyun-Jin Ryu and left the Dodgers with Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia making starts down the stretch.
The Dodgers head into 2015 with Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and presumably Dan Haren. Besides a fifth starter, the front office must find at least one more quality starting pitcher.
There isn’t much in the minors, unless Zach Lee finally develops. There are big names on the market like Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields, but the Dodgers may not hand out the necessary big contract.
At least seven capable starting pitchers are needed to get through a season and the Dodgers must make some moves to be prepared for the long haul.
Next Page: Top-3 priorities on the checklist