L.A. has had a solid offseason. It re-signed Rich Hill, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen while making several minor depth additions. The team has not added a piece that leads one to believe it is better than last year. The front office has been conservative again, electing to hang onto its prospects and resist the temptation of a free agent splurge.
Count ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian in the crowd of those who believe the Dodgers are operating below their means. On Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight podcast, Kurkjian was asked which team most needs to make a move and he opined Los Angeles. They talk Dodgers a little after the 52:00 mark.
On latest podcast: BOS's David Dombrowski, CWS GM Rick Hahn tell their sides of Sale trade, including WAS rumors. https://t.co/tVO9Misi78
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 7, 2017
“The Dodgers have a very good team. The Dodgers are going to be fine no matter what. But to be at this stage, and not sure who their left fielder’s going to be, and not sure who their second baseman is going to be, and still having some questions with their starting pitching; I think you look at them and I put them in there because they, of course, have the most resources, money, prospects, to make deals and yet they haven’t made a deal for Brian Dozier, and I’m not sure they’re going to, or Ryan Braun to play the outfield or anything like that.
The Dodgers have done this before where they just kind of lay back and then go make the deal they need to make. I think they need to do something because the Giants got better and if the Dodgers are going to win the World Series, which is all they ever think about, I think they need to make a move at second base, left field or maybe both.”
Olney added he believes the Twins may decide to move Dozier if they feel his streakiness may damage his value. The logic is his value has peaked and if he struggles to open the season, the rest of the league will be quick to consider last season’s run smoke and mirrors. Kurkjian said he thinks Dozier will become more consistent with maturity and he’s surprised no other teams have made a play for him.
The Giants haven’t made much noise, but signing Mark Melancon was a colossal move in the NL pennant race. San Francisco’s inability to protect a lead cost it homefield advantage in the divisional series and almost kept it out of the postseason altogether. Adding one of the better closers in baseball almost certainly adds at least a few wins for the Giants.
Andrew Friedman and the front office have taken a lot of criticism for their conservative approach. Kurkjian’s assessment is fair. L.A. hasn’t added much to its team this winter, and it’s counting on collective production in the corner outfield spots with a complete unknown situation at second. We know Dozier is the prime target, and we recently heard Braun could still be on the table. Kurkjian goes so far as to say the team might need to add players at second and left. The Dodgers could realistically acquire Dozier and Braun without adding too much to the payroll.
All eyes will be on the second base situation until spring training. A Dozier resolution should come in the next several days. If he stays in Minnesota or goes elsewhere, the Dodgers won’t have a shortage of alternatives to investigate.