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.
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.