You knew it was bound to happen. You just knew it was inevitable. Of course, we’re talking about a major publication talking about how the Los Angeles Dodgers, due to losing Zack Greinke in the offseason, have most assuredly taken “a step back.”
It finally happened today, and it honestly shouldn’t surprise anyone. What is somewhat of a surprise, though, is that it came from all the way across the country.
2. DODGERS — Signing Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir to free agent deals can’t make up for losing Greinke to the rival Diamondbacks. The Dodgers still have an unsettled outfield situation, and re-signing an aging Chase Utley wasn’t impressive.
In some respects, Cafardo is correct. Maeda and Kazmir are certainly no Greinke, but they also don’t have to be. That’s the beauty about signing two of the better free agent pitchers out there to team-friendly deals.
All the Dodgers need out of those two starters is to be about equal to the production Greinke produced, and the rest will take care of itself as the Dodgers now have a much deeper rotation than they did at all in 2015.
Combine that with Brandon McCarthy possibly returning by the All-Star Break, as well as Hyun-jin Ryu returning shortly into the season, and you have the makings of a team that shouldn’t see too much of a rotational drop-off.
Cafardo is also correct in saying the Dodgers have an unsettled outfield situation, but it’s more or less unsettled in only left field. Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig are going to be the starters at center field and right field, as they should be. Only left field is up in the air, but it’s not a deal breaker as far as their season is concerned.
And, while re-signing Chase Utley isn’t exactly great, it isn’t terrible, either. Losing Howie Kendrick can be seen as a negative, but to say that the Dodgers took “a step back” seems to imply that the overall talent on the team got worse.
It’s hard to actually say the talent got worse. It just got reallocated and rearranged. That doesn’t mean there was “a step back”, it just means there was a shift.