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Dodgers: Ken Rosenthal, Experts Discuss LA’s Free Agency Desperation

Are the Dodgers now in desperation mode?



The Dodgers have struck out on all fronts so far this off-season. Although there is reason to believe that the club is involved in the trade market and free agent market, fans crave more than just right-handed reliever Blake Treinen — and for good reason. The Dodgers have to make a move, right?

However, the main question posed by Ken Rosenthal, Mark Feinsand, and Joel Sherman on MLB Network this morning was: “How desperate are the Dodgers?” While the word ‘desperate’ might be a bit of an exaggeration, the Dodgers’ front office has to be feeling immense pressure at present.

 

They are currently engaged in talks with the Cleveland Indians on shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, in addition to talks with the Boston Red Sox on outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price.

On the MLB Network segment, Joel Sherman of the New York Post was assigned to talk about the Dodgers. This is what he had to say about the club’s ‘desperation’ and positioning:

“It’s hard to call a team that I still think will win the NL West easily ‘desperate’, but there is a sliver of where they have problems — they have so much youth in their rotation plus some fragility with [Clayton] Kershaw. They are going to depend on the Urias’s, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin. I think that is worrisome.”

While the Dodgers do have a very strong roster with the reigning NL MVP on it in Cody Bellinger and a star ace in Walker Buehler, there are question marks. The best way to dissolve the worries is to address the top of the roster.

“I think they wanted to really try to impact the top of their roster. I also wonder — they were so willing to try and find a third baseman in this market — do they know something about Justin Turner’s physicality that we maybe all do not know? Maybe moving Justin Turner to first base.”

Justin Turner is aging quickly and his defense is declining. A move for a star third baseman — Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, etc. — would benefit the Dodgers immensely. Justin Turner could play first base in his last season under contract with the team.

“I’m surprised they haven’t done anything, yet. I would be shocked if we showed up at spring training and they haven’t done Josh Hader, Francisco Lindor, or Mike Clevinger, or Mookie Betts, or they haven’t done something. They have the talent to do it.”

Andrew Friedman is undoubtedly working hard to try and land some excellent assets in Los Angeles. He simply has not done it yet. The off-season is still young and there is no reason to overreact at this juncture.

“The one thing I always keep in mind — Andrew Friedman famously said that if you apply logic to free agency, you will finish third on every free agent. So far, they are keep finishing third. If they want to try and impact the top of their roster, they are going to have to give up some of the pieces that they are clutching onto hard, but it will impact the roster in a great way and I believe they will do it.”

They knew Stephen Strasburg was returning to Washington, they made an extremely competitive offer to Gerrit Cole, and they were told by Anthony Rendon’s camp that he didn’t want the Los Angeles lifestyle. It’s not on them. They are not fair to blame. Just wait and one piece will land.

NEXT: Justin Turner Discusses Front Office’s Activity in Off-Season

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. Rosenthal is on the payroll. Why won’t any of you journalists call it what it is? Salary dump , putting expectations on the 5 th best farm system to say your trying to win a world series. Its obvious ….

  2. I would have just said to Gerrit Cole: “What is it going to take?” And done that. They’re on the inside. They knew they were behind the Yankees, because Boras would have told them that in trying to get the best deal.

    That is on them. A fair offer wasn’t good enough. Only the best offer was going to land Cole, a guy they needed. Who cares about the NL West at this point. It’s being the best chef at Olive Garden in the local town. Before someone says it: I like Olive Garden too. But it’s still just Olive Garden.

    • Do you think Olive Garden cares about being the top restaurant in town? Nope. So long as they are profitable that’s all they care about. Just like the Dodgers ownership and Friedman.

    • Before free agency even began Cole wanted to be a Yankee, and the Yankees wanted Cole — what the Dodgers offered did not matter; Yanks were going to be the highest bidder, and Cole was going to accept. Fait accompli. Boras simply used the Dodgers in his negotiations with the Yankees to drive up the contract total value, and years.

    • Clint thank you. And for all of those claiming Cole only wanted to be a Yankee! Cole is a home grown U.CL.A. boy that mentioned he’d love to come home and play. Did anyone ever think that after losing such a intense world series that Cole chose not only the team that was willing to go all out, but also the team that has a reputation of going all out! A organization that prides itself on doing what’s necessary to win not just championships, but multiple championships! Steinbrenner is the polar opposite of Guggenheim, Steinbrenner announced immediately after landing Cole that he just purchased a Dynasty!!! Gee, let’s see; if I’m Cole do I go to the org with the storied history of being all about titles? Or do I go home for less money and become The second coming of recent Dodger greats that the org squandered their careers by never attaining the top tier players necessary to create a dynasty! Don’t think Cole hasn’t noticed this teams penny pinching ways!!!!!

    • And immediately following the Dodger’s “What’s it going to take?” the Yankees would have asked the same thing. Cole wanted to play for the Yankees. End of story.

  3. One piece will land? They’re all gone. They would have to trade and that’s not gonna happen it’s going to cost too many of their precious prospects. They had the perfect FA market, SP and RP but watched them all get signed

  4. Does this guy work for the Dodgers? OF COURSE losing out on Cole is the fault of the Dodgers and Fraudman.

    This front office hangs out at Goodwill hoping to find a Rolex watch. It’s embarrassing how they negotiate.

    Front office was out in to save money, not to build a championship team.

  5. Andrew Friedman is undoubtedly working hard to try and land some excellent assets in Los Angeles. He simply has not done it yet.

    LMAO because you said do it must be true??

    Wait, wait who said Andrew Friedman is “UNDOUBTEDLY” working hard??
    What would give you that idea? What has he done to make you feel that way? better yet why would you even put that in a national write up?

    You guys are Drinking an entirely different Kewl aid then the rest of us and it’s not Dodger Blue

    Kirk lyons, Clint Evans, Arodc03, Manny Festo.
    You guys are all Spot on.
    Most true and real Dodger fans have been here year in and year out. We have realized awhile ago what has been happening and we dont want to be lied to. It is insulting!

    The FA market was your time to make a difference and Show not only the Fans but the team that we are Doubleing Down to make sure we have an even better team for 2020. Not watering down our team with trades.
    This team makes an absolutely Ridiculous amount yet they are not willing to put it into its players and field the absolute best team available. It’s down right shamefully. Embarrassing really this team has so many assets and not willing to spend or use them.
    The supposed trades just weakens this team

    I have not seen any one proposed that dosen’t weaken this team and dosen’t address the holes that need to be filled.
    We are past the 11th hour and now we are going to throw up a hail marry just for the sake of a trade.
    If I were G company I would practice my resignation speeches because I can’t see your fans putting up with much more of this type of mismanagement. The spin on any of these story’s after ward or pure comedy.
    And any perpetuation this nonsense should not have a job writing about this team.

  6. There were three elite free agents this year: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg. As long as the Nationals made a competitive offer Strasburg was going to re-sign there (MLBTR predicted the re-signing from day 1). Cole wanted to be a Yankee, Yankees wanted Cole – it was just a matter of Boras driving up the price using the Dodgers as his stalking horse. Rendon did not want to be a Dodger – nothing the team could do about that. For whining Dodgers fans, get over it! The core of the team that won 106 games is returning with minor league player of the year Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Will Smith on the 2020 roster from opening day.

  7. I’m still hoping LA can add a RH power bat, especially at 3rd and another reliever but i like their chances in 2020

    • Jim I agree. The Dodgers are now set up with a very young core and few contracts past next year. They have the ability to pay their young talent and keep them.
      If Seager refuses to move to 3rd I would trade him next year as Lux is a SS as is Downs. I have seen Downs play he is very impressive as is Josiah Grey. The Dodgers have some very talented young players in the pipeline.
      The plan is to grow the team from a Farm System that they have spent a lot of resources and time on. Why is that such a bad thing? It is the Only way to keep a team competitive for decades.
      I tune out the Sportswriters and Hack journalists they are only attempting to get attention and do not need to make reasonable decisions nor are they accountable for a team’s success.
      If the Dodgers would have listened to the that Crowd they would have traded Bellinger, Seager, Lux. Or last year made the Pirates very happy getting Vasquez for Lux. Remember how the guy is out of baseball??? They have very short memories but big mouths.,

    • Jim, the Astros,Red Sox,Cardinals, Giants are all doing better! Each have won plenty of Championships, all have top 5 farm systems, and all have overpaid at times to win it all! All have suffered ups and downs , rebuilt , and won in 10 year spans! None of them solely relied on their farm system to win, but all of them balanced the farm with top tier Free Agents and trades to achieve success! If you think this current Dodgers idea of holding onto all of their farm, and solely relying on them to become stars works, just take a look at Zack Greinke, or just recently Manny Machado or Ryu! When its time to resign and pay them, the Dodgers choose to say ” see ya” . So what good does retaining their farm do if they won’t pay them when they lose control of them? There is no other way to view this FO as nothing more than corporate downsizing! Just like when your company starts downloading the top payed employees and bringing in hungry young workers that will work for half the price , but haven’t learned the trade yet! Meanwhile The company never grows , it just dishes out large bonuses to the top brass!!! Sound like corporate America much? Dodgers are not interested in their fans, but love their profit margins!!!

      • The team is highly competitive yet fans that do not have the advantage of coaches and scouts that the FO has continue to decide to second guess them as they have steered the team to 7 NL West Championships. Amazing.
        It is about corporate America and profit. The team will be more profitable and valuable when they win the WS.
        Hack Journalists and fans decide to second guess and decide they know better than the guys whose decisions have put the team in the best position they have had in decades.
        Amazing.
        Keep screaming & complaining no one cares LOL….

      • I’d take the Red Sox record over the last 15 years but only just. Take the Dodgers record and future expectations hands down over all the other teams you mention.

  8. Merry Christmas my Dodger Brother and Sisters….Well I guess our Christmas present form the Dodgers was your Typical False Hope…..Didn’t we know when Stan said he was “Happy” with current roster???? and just like last 3 years after losing in PLay Offs/World Series….we have all played GM’s and talked the talk of what this great FA ( I hope he is the next Manny) would do for us….but we are owned by a large company and run by a Pres/GM who know what a budget is….Buy Low sell high….

    I think the Dodgers would be better served getting a Mgr. who knows how to handle a pitching staff in the Play Offs…than over spending on a FA who will only get hurt and under perform

  9. Jim, to answer your question. Every team that ha one the World series in the last 33 years. Some like the Yankees,Marlins,Cards,Red Sox, Giants, Blue Jays, have won it multiple times.

  10. Desperation? I’m pretty sure the Pirates, Marlins etc are desperate you moron. This is a great NOT good, great and they have the discipline to stay that way. If people don’t to come here fu*king don’t. The best moves sometimes are the ones you don’t make, they will figure it out.

  11. riddle me this…in the past 20yrs just how many top tier FA’s have signed with the Dodgers?

    Going back further to the O’Malley years the Dodgers were the place players wanted to be because players were treated well, still pieces of meat to trade or whatever, but the team even had it’s own jet so no charters or that kind of hassle.

    Even then there haven’t been any FA I can recall who signed with the Dodgers. Everything typically came via trades. Heck, at one point not long before selling to Fox, I remember a comment attributed to O’Malley that they simply didn’t know how to complete in post FA era MLB. And O’Malley LOVED his Dodgers. But resources and not quite getting the FA thing led to few FA’s and the few they signed were pretty my failures. I think Gibson was the only FA with any success but even he fell apart.

    After that Fox had zero clue but the FO was actually not awful. Still the difference makers stayed away. But that times it was simply the chaos of a poorly run franchise because FOX only cared about the team TV rights not the team on the field.

    And then McCourtCo…just a smoke & mirrors purchase simply to “flip”, gawd i hate the meaning of that word today…anyway NOBODY wanted to play in LA unless traded or without other options (Manny). Again the culture of the team was not about winning, not really and i think Colletti got a bum rap because of how McCourtCo abused the franchise.

    Now today, I’ve read there are questions by players out there suspicious of running a MLB team under the “Rec Lineup” philosophy might leave them not getting the success the top players have earned a chance to go after. I mean look at Robert’s use of pitching in tbe post season…it’s pretty much always been questionable at best. Then his position player roulette despite a player producing. Again if a start/elite player comes in after a big contract they want TO PLAY the game the right way. It’s hard to argue Robert’s is a bad manager because he isn’t…but the way the roster is handled might make those difference makers not want to play in that and the “Los Angeles Lifestyle”…

    Personally my only want was Cole. I thought they would bring Ryu back but at some point ya have to trust the players you’ve developed.

    Have the offers been credible? Who knows but once a player is offered $200M to play, it’s then about quality of life and quality if how the organization treats & utilizes it’s players.

    I feel, there have to be reasons players repeatedly bail on Dodger offers. Now Cole choosing the Yankees make sense he got great money plus is on a great organization, damnit!

  12. The available pieces in this off-season’s free agent market looked like a perfect fit for the Dodgers. But, you can’t blame them for not outbidding the Yankees’ obscene offer for Cole. That would have been stupid. Rendon, apparently didn’t want to play in LA because of its “lifestyle.” So, no Rendon. They lose Ryu to another crazy offer that makes no sense for a 33-year-old, often-hurt starting pitcher. They sign a reliever, who may fill a needed void if he returns to 2017 form. Now, they are in the hunt for Lindor and Clevenger from the Indians. They could use both, but they have boxed themselves into a corner because the Indians can demand something nuts in return. The Dodgers know the fan-base is frustrated. Another division title means nothing. They need a No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher and a right-handed hitter. Without both of those parts, the Dodgers will be also-rans in 2020.

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