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Dodgers: How LA Can Counter San Diego’s Productive Offseason



There’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the San Diego Padres and their flurry of moves this past week. After bringing in both Blake Snell and Yu Darvish on separate deals, the only thing that baseball analysts seem to be able to talk about is how nervous the Dodgers should now be.

You would think that the defending World Series Champions deserve a little more credit, but the sports world moves quickly and has a short memory, so these headlines aren’t very surprising.

One thing is certain: the Padres did indeed get better this offseason. So the question now becomes how do the Dodgers decide to respond? Do they make a splashy move to steal back the national headlines? Do they stay put and roll with their current roster?

The Dodgers don’t have to do anything to remain the best team in baseball, but should they feel the need to counter the Padres in any way, there’s more than one avenue they could explore.

3. Bring Back Justin Turner

More than anything, bringing back Justin Turner would be a big boost for the clubhouse. His best offensive days are behind him, but his impact on the game goes far beyond the playing field. After arriving in Los Angeles as a career utility man, Justin found his voice and a consistent role on a team that was still figuring out its identity.

While this wouldn’t be a move as splashy as the ones being made down in Dodgers Stadium South, a reunion with Turner would be a popular move with just about every Dodgers fan and player.

2. Sign Reliever Liam Hendriks

There aren’t many weaknesses in this Dodgers team as currently constructed, but the bullpen could always use some depth. And for a team as loaded as Los Angeles, any improvement needs to be worthwhile. The one reliever that should top their wish list is none other than former Oakland closer, Liam Hendriks.

Related: MLB Insider Calls Liam Hendriks Dodgers’ Top Free Agent Fit

Hendriks has quietly been one of baseball’s best relievers the last two seasons, pitching to a tune of a 1.79 ERA over 110 innings. With Kenley Jansen operating on an increasingly shorter leash, it would be beneficial to bring on a competent closer to take Blake Treinen’s place in the pen. After all, pitching is what wins championships, and no one knows this better than the 2020 World Champs themselves.

1. Trade for Nolan Arenado

The longer the offseason goes on, the more appealing a trade for Nolan Arenado becomes. It’s not like the Dodgers need him per se, they have plenty of capable players to fill in at the hot corner. But how great would it feel to counter an honestly productive offseason for the Padres with this move?

Sure, getting Arenado would cost a heavy price in terms of prospect capital. The Dodgers would have to give up more than a few good young players to acquire his services, but it’s hard to argue that he wouldn’t make them better. There are countless arguments in favor of bringing Arenado home and countless more against it, but that’s a subject for another day.

If we’re strictly talking about a blockbuster move that would firmly keep the needle in favor of Los Angeles, trading for Nolan Arenado would do the trick quite nicely.

NEXT: MLB Expert Insists Los Angeles is Primed to Land DJ LeMahieu or Trevor Bauer

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. The Dodgers do not have the luxury of “staying put” as the exiting FA.s are a considerable take away that must be replaced. Maybe they have those in young in-house players, maybe not. Trading for Arenado would be about the worst thing they could do. That would be giving up prospects for a bloated salary for a player who is average away from Coors. Arenado would be a bad signing if it was just taking on the salary without giving up the prospects. If they want to spend that kind of money, sign LaMahieu and Bauer and keep the prospects.

  2. gotta hand it to san diego but it’s still not enough.

    i like #1. sign turner on the incentive plan.

    i like #2. closer is the biggest need. not sure about morrow, knebel, graterol, and definitely not jansen. hendriks is solid.

    nix on #3. why sign arenado if #1 is get turner? over pay lemahieu and he still is cheaper than arenado.

  3. Not sure that signing Arenado would do much long term to counter the Padres, although another right handed bat (in addition to resigning Turner) is a necessity. It adds an expensive long term contract at a time when the Dodgers are looking at at least three other ones for the current guys. Staying put and letting all the FAs walk is indeed a step backwards. Signing six or seven past their prime relievers and hoping one or two has something left is not the best option. Better to look at a Hendricks or a Hand to stabilize things, at least short term. LaMaheiu would be nice but hard to imagine the Dodgers want to try to outbid both NY teams.

  4. Why does every say that Arenado stats away from Coors Field go down. How about LeMahieu, he seemed to be better than average at Yankee Stadium(away from Coors)? IMO, I feel the Padres have already Won the National League West, if not the National League.

    • Lemahieu would be a much better signing….I can see Bor-ass taking Seager away, so you move Lux to SS and LeMahieu plays second….if we don’t sign any of the other free agents SS

    • “…I feel the Padres have already won the National League West..”—just because they got Snell and Darvish? Snell had one Cy Young year and Dodgers had Darvish in 2017 when he was 3 years younger. I think Dodgers would rather have Buehler/Kershaw than Darvish/Snell in the top of their rotation.

      All Dodgers need to do is re-sign Justin Turner, re-sign Treinen, sign Hendriks, perhaps trade for Hader. They shouldn’t sign Bauer (he has one good year and his Cy Young was 60 innings in a week NL Central), but what they should do is wait mid-season, see who has been a top pitcher in one of the lesser losing teams and pull off a trade with their prospects.

  5. Oh Daniel, you make no sense…on one hand you say we don’t need Arendo, and then you say how much it will cost….WHAT KIND OF FOOL OVERPAYS FOR SOMETHING HE DOES NOT NEED…

    Weak

  6. I noticed that besides Snell and Darvidh., they listed padres’ other rotation options that has 3 or 4 other LHP. To me its obvious the Padres as well as other teams will throw as many lefties at the Dodgers as possible. Thats why improving from the right hand hitter box is vital .As it now stands , besides BP arms ,(legit ones), the team is weak on the right side compared to the LHB. So hopefully Freidman gets what he has said he’s looking for this off season.

  7. BTW, the Padres also have $38 million LESS in payroll for 2021. However, the Dodgers are $50 mil under SD in 2022, and $60 mil under SD for 2023.

    This is why extensions for Seager, Buehler, Bellinger, and Urias are so important. Seager for 2021, the remainder get extensions in 2022.

    Keep our own homegrown talent, add a piece here and there, and maintain flexibility. SD’s farm system is being spent for big names. Ours in intact and can be used to bring in a Kris Bryant, and we’ll still have more prospects coming up in the next three years than they will.

    • Dodger since 68 I am a Dodger fan since 58! My first Dodger game was at the Coliseum when I was 7. I agree with you/ Keep the money to sign our homegrown talent. Do not panic.
      See if you can sign Turner for a reasonable deal and extension same with Seager although rumor has it Seager will play out his year.
      I like Kris Bryant.
      We need to build a very effective bullpen. Perhaps trade a prospect.But with that stated I like the Knebel and Morrow signings. If the Dodgers can sign guys to help the BP and get a right handed contact hitter we still are better than the Padres if Bellinger and Muncy have regular years. I still believe that Lux will show why he was so highly rated.

      • Lux is someone I would trade. He’s great at hitting fastballs but can’t hit the curve, He is another Joc Pedersen and maybe not that good at the plate. Yes he can field the ball but I don’t think he hits his weight in the majors… He hasn’t been too impressive so far…

  8. I have faith that the Padres will be the Padres and win nothing. The Dodgers should make good decisions and not worry about a team that never wins.

  9. Trade for Chris Bryant instead of FA Arenado, who can’t buy a clutch hit away from Coors.

    • Kris Bryant is injury prone and worth too much. Besides Bryant has his ring. Arenado is from California and is still motivated to win his 1st ring. Dodgers enemy will be complacency, not talent – they need players in 2021 who didn’t win a ring to keep the motivation strong

      …oh and obviously I meant “weak” NL Central in my other post

  10. The objective in making off-season acquisitions is not to make splashy headlines. The objective is to remedy weaknesses, and make your team better. The Padres had real injury issues with their SP’s. They were shorthanded. Now they have the best starting rotation in baseball. The Dodgers need to re-sign JT and keep his right handed bat in the line-up. LeMaheiu at 2B would answer the need for another strong RHB at a position that has been weak for years. They also need a shutdown closer, and Hendriks is at the top of the list. We have no need for Arenado or his massive salary that will block the re-signing of free agents like Seager who is far stronger than Arenado offensively and capable of playing 3B in the future if necessary. Bauer for one year wouldn’t hurt.

    • I don’t know why you say SD has the best staff in baseball; would you take any of their starters over Buehler – especially in a big game? Would you take Darvish over Kershaw or Paddock over Urias?
      SD has substantially improved their staff but they needed to. They’ll be more formidable in ’22 when they get Clevenger and Lamet back healthy but the Dodgers are better in ’21.

    • The Padres’ rotation isn’t the best in baseball. Hell, it isn’t even better than the Dodgers. Kershaw, Buehler, Price Urias, May, Gonsolin…. that’s deep and good. The Dodgers need to find their 3B and have an answer for the backend of the pen, with Jansen being a real question mark.

      Snell and Darvish have nice upside but look at their recent history. There are no guarantees there for the boys in brown.

  11. Sign Padres free agent closer kirby Yates. He is a low cost reclamation project, and former lights out closer. Dodgers don’t need Bryant and his big contract for a unreliable bat.

    • And I forgot to mention Dustin May will be another ace if not this year for sure in 22 So Padres pitching staff is nowhere near ours only Nationals come close not the padres.

  12. Hold on boys and girls. Nothing complicated here. Resign JT, (but use Rios more), sign Hendricks. Win another WS next season. Then —- let the real dealings begin. Enjoy the new season.

  13. Re-sign JT, sign DJ LeMehieu, sign Hendricks.

    Give Padres the middle finger.

    Hoist W.S. Trophy for a second straight year.

  14. Dodgers don’t need to sign anybody but extend Seager and Cody. Blake Snell is Padres only ace yarvish doesn’t qualify as an ace Kershaw/ Buhler is better plus Dodgers already have Urias who will challenge for a cy young now that they’re letting him pitch 100 pitches per game and showed it in post season he close out the Braves and the Rays. Best pitcher in the post season no contest Urias,Kershaw and Buhler 3 aces to one for padres. Dodgers 2 MVP’S to none for Padres Seager will battle for the MVP this year and better than Padres shortstop. Player by position Dodgers 8 to 1 superior so why should we worry.Victor can close out games better than hader so we are set and will run away with division. By more than 10 games

  15. You lay it out with such common sense but Andrew Friedman will screw it up regardless, on purpose at that. I hope I am wrong but something is seriously wrong with him. We aren’t getting Nolan Arenado because dude is a cheap scape. Forget Hendricks as well. For some strange reason I’d like the Dodgers too move on from Friedman’s arrogance with money. He is good at what he does no denying that. He should have won his second title actually. #SCROOGE

  16. I’m sure Arenado would love to come home, but we don’t need him. I like the Hendriks move for sure. If the Dodgers have a hankering to spend money, I would rather they sign LeMahieu. He is much more versatile, which is something the Dodgers like. I don’t think they need to sign any more starting pitching. I see May and Gonsolin improving and with the much needed playoff experience they just went through, it can only help. Of course it they sign Bauer, who am I to agrue. Go Dodgers!

  17. Give Turner the salary he wants keep him and keep Peterson too The dodgers need to keep the roster they have and they have the money to get better prospects on the team. They have a good team, now give the players that are free agents the money they want and keep them

  18. Dodgers ran away with the NL title and had poor years from Muncy. Bellinger and Lux never showed. Muncy had a variety of injuries and Bellinger was simply terrible.
    It is not unreasonable to believe Muncy will be much better, Bellinger will return to be more consistent and Lux will show why he was highly rated.
    They should sign Turner to a 2-year incentive laden deal with option a 3rd year option and figure out the bullpen. I am very concerned Seager plays out his contract and moves to the East Coast as his family lives in North Carolina. Toward the end of the season depending on how the team is doing they should rent Lindor or Bryant if they are still available and needed. Try them out to see if they fit in the clubhouse and help the team.
    Hopefully they still get more bullpen help although I am confident that Knebel and Morrow will help and Gonzalez will be used more. Plus Graterol is getting more experience.

  19. I agree with Re-signing Turner to a 2-year incentive laden contract with a 3rd year option and buy out. I would give Seager an ultimatum either extend or he is not in future plans and I would attempt to make a deal for Lindor.
    I want Seager and Turner on the club but baseball is a business.
    The Dodgers do not need Arenado and his bloated contract and he is an average hitter outside Colorado.
    The Dodgers can play Rios and Will Smith at third. But they need more bullpen arms. Rios has incredible potential and has shown he can hit. Rios worked on his defense and was much improved in 2020.

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