The Dodgers are set to report to Spring Training and start games this month. That is, of course, assuming MLB and the Player’s Union figure things out in regards to the season. But if things do get rolling on time, Los Angeles will start not having made as big of a splash on the free-agent market as many expected.
And that’s not to say that any number of minor moves made will end up being their biggest move of the offseason. But the fact remains that the Dodgers have missed out on some big names that they were linked to at one time or another.
Looking back at their recent history, there is still plenty of time to make an organization-altering move. The Dodgers have made a few signings during February in that past that completely changed their season, and in at least one case, the history of their franchise. Let’s go through a few of the more recent moves:
Hideo Nomo: February 13th, 1995
Way back in 1995, moving from the Nippon Professional Baseball League over to MLB was not a typical move. The Dodgers signed Hideo Nomo to Minor League deal with a $2 million signing bonus, and it paid off immediately. Nomo made 28 starts and struck out 236 en route to the Rookie of the Year award, and made the start in the All-Star game. Fans had to hold their breath all the way until February 13th for the signing to happen, and there were plenty of question marks coming into the season. To say it worked out would be an understatement.
Howie Kendrick: February 4, 2016
The Dodgers signing Howie Kendrick wasn’t exactly a foregone conclusion with Chase Utley in the fold at second base. But because Kendrick declined his qualifying offer, his market didn’t quite take shape. Los Angeles would then step in and sign him to a 2-year deal worth $20 million. Kendrick was traded to the Phillies the following offseason for Darnell Sweeny and Darin Ruf. In terms of productivity, Kendrick didn’t have the best year following the signing. But he filled a role for the team by playing outfield and spending time at second and first.
Justin Turner: February 6, 2014
No one could have predicted just how impactful this move could have been at the time. The Dodgers scooped up Justin Turner on a minor league deal after being cut by the Mets, and the rest is history. JT went on to become one of the franchise’s most productive hitters of all time, totaling over 800 hits and 116 homeruns since he signed. In 2014, JT came up and slashed .340/.404/.493 to get things started in his Dodgers career.
With all of those signings in mind, there is still plenty of hope that the Dodgers do something big heading into February. Don’t forget, they also landed Mookie Betts in a trade with the Red Sox this month too…TBD.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, interviews, live streams, and more!