With the month of July and the countdown to the trade deadline (July 31) nearly upon us, we’re sure to hear the rumor mill around the Los Angeles Dodgers swirl as ferociously as ever. With that said, however, it needs to be remembered that this team is built for both the present and the future.
Do the Dodgers want to win the 2015 World Series? Of course.
Are they going to mortgage the future to get there? Not a chance.
If the 2014 World Series taught us anything, it’s that winning the World Series is a crapshoot. Baseball is not a sport that rewards the best team with a title every year, and for the Dodgers, it means that the way to find success is by giving yourself as many chances at a title as possible. If winning the title is like winning the lottery, the key is getting as many tickets (trips to the postseason) as possible.
Would adding someone like Johnny Cueto increase the Dodgers’ 2015 odds? Of course. But trading high-level prospects for a three-month rental (that would hurt their chances in 2016 and beyond) is a counter to everything this front office has done since arriving. (Also keep in mind that guys like Cueto, David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Jeff Samardzija, and more are available this offseason for nothing more than a boatload of cash).
Consider that the Dodgers have the following Major Leaguers under contract through at least 2017 (alphabetical order): Pedro Baez, Mike Bolsinger, Andre Ethier, Carlos Frias, Yimi Garcia, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Zack Greinke (although many expect he’ll opt out this summer), Alex Guerrero, Enrique Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Liberatore, Juan Nicasio, Joc Pederson, Joel Peralta, Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke.
Add to that list prospects like Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Hector Olivera, Scott Schebler, Jose De Leon and more, and, well, you get the picture that the Dodgers aren’t going anywhere for a while.
Just picture the heart of the 2017 lineup: Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager (plus Grandal, Gonzalez, Ethier, Van Slyke, Guerrero and Olivera), or the 2017 rotation anchored by Kershaw and Urias. And that’s without (the inevitable) signing or re-signing any marquee free agents!
So yes, winning the 2015 title is the goal, but don’t expect any major prospects to be sacrificed in order to get there because even if 2015 isn’t the Dodgers year, well, 2016 (and 2017 and 2018 and…) looks pretty promising too.