The Dodgers have found a way over the last few years to have one of the best bullpens in the league. Despite not breaking the bank outside of Kenley Jasen, Los Angeles had the best bullpen in the National League in 2020.
They’ve obviously lost a few pieces in free agency since then, but the 2021 bullpen rankings still don’t seem right. Fangraphs came out with the list today and ranked the Dodgers way down at number 8, with the Padres 5 spots ahead of them.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) January 17, 2021
The truth is, the Dodgers are depending on a lot to go right in their bullpen for the 2021 season. They made a trade for Corey Knebel in hopes that he could find his 2017 form with the Brewers after struggling through a few years if injuries. Los Angeles also signed Brandon Morrow to a minor league, looking to squeeze some value out of the 36-year-old veteran.
On the other hand, they do have established arms already in the bullpen. Kenley Jansen is still the Dodgers closer, and like it or not, he is still good at his job. He might not be the elite 2017 Kenley Jansen that we once had, but he is the best option in-house. Los Angeles also re-signed Blake Treinen to a two-year deal that also includes a club option for 2023.
Outside of those two veterans, the Dodgers have also found a lot of success with a youth movement in the bullpen. Victor Gonzalez came in and put up ridiculous numbers by inducing soft contact and keeping his groundball percentage up. The addition of David Price will likely push another young starter to the bullpen, which will only make them better.
There are a lot of really good bullpens on this list, but the Dodgers being down to #8 does seem like a slap in the face. Bookmark this one for October, when Los Angeles has a top-3 bullpen in the league.
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