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Dodgers Must Focus on Relief Pitching at Winter Meetings, Says MLB Writer

MLB.com says thin relief market, and clear team deficiency makes this a no-brainer



Earlier today, we pointed out that MLB experts are banging the table for the Los Angeles Dodgers to acquire reliever Josh Hader. In addition, those same experts have brought up ideas like signing Dellin Betances on a low-risk deal. While agreeing that the Dodgers need to address their bullpen, we thought Blake Treinen would make an excellent target for Los Angeles as well.

Without a doubt, the theme remains the same for the Dodgers heading towards the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that MLB.com says the Dodgers must go in with the mindset to acquire relief pitching when the meetings begin Sunday night.

Here is the snippet from the article, which breaks down each NL West team and need.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill are free agents, so the Dodgers clearly have work to do in the rotation. But with Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw at the forefront, that rotation is still a strength.

The bullpen, on the other hand, remains entirely too unpredictable. Kenley Jansen posted a career-high 3.71 ERA last season after a career-high 4.03 FIP two years ago. He’s no longer the lights-out closer he once was. After Jansen, Joe Kelly and Pedro Báez bring plenty of question marks, too.

The Dodgers’ bullpen deficiencies led to their unraveling in each of the past few postseasons. Right now, the relief market is thin — and tricky to gauge. But it’s hard to envision Los Angeles standing pat in the ‘pen.

Of course everyone would like to see the Dodgers pull in Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon. However – to agree with the author at MLB.com – it’s important that the Dodgers don’t forget about their bullpen. As stated in the last stanza, the Dodgers’ bullpen deficiencies were the reason Clayton Kershaw was in game five of the NLDS which became the final chapter of 2019.

Certainly, Andrew Friedman and company can’t hope to just land a bargain-bin reliever or two and get by once again. This is an area that needs addressed, and if the Dodgers can land a solid player or two for the unit; everyone should be excited.

Written by Staff Writer

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  1. Clint, while I concur that BP IS A MUST based upon the PS of the last few years, so is that inept offense that shows itself every October. For example in the 2019 NLDS with 64 K’s in only 5 games and failing miserably with RISP. Dodgers are too LH heavy as far as I am concerned and if ya looked at the last few WS winners they did not have such an unbalanced offense like Dodgers have had for a while now.

  2. Isn’t this discussion the same thing annually? We’ve needed B.P. help badly for 2 solid years now. It was a mistake to NOT pay Watson in 18 and sit on his hands again in 19. Friedman always says he believes that his B.P. will be fine and will come together, blah blah. Excuses are getting old. We’re waiting…

  3. Here is a good question to to ask those who may be here:
    What are the percentages (chances) that Freidman and Dodgers leave next week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego empty handed?
    I will put my guess at about a 90% chance of them leaving SD empty handed or void of any real pick up/signing

    • Paul, I know you talk about left-handedness, etc but the star National pitchers are Right Handed! It wasn’t only the Dodgers! Nobody hit those two guys. It was like the run of Johnson and Schilling two probable all-star pitchers that got hot.
      Roberts lost that series not the Dodger hitters in my opinion. Every playoff series will be against elite teams with elite pitching. Most games will be won or lost at one turning point in the game. At those times Roberts has failed in the playoffs every time.
      You and I go back and forth on this. The legendary infield of the Dodgers with Cey and Garvey etc were right-handed. Verdugo has great splits and Bellinger improved his. It is all about the splits not what side you bat on. Pollock is right-handed and he completely fell apart.
      I expect the Dodgers will re-sign Ryu. I think they will make a trade with someone like they did with Cincinnati to attempt to free up the bench and outfield. They should in my opinion trade Pederson while he is rated very high. Trade Maeda and the other guys that are blocked like Rios, White, Santana, Taylor and possibly Stripling depending on what they can get for him. The signing of Alexander and Friedman talking about Urias in the starting rotation with Ferguson going to be short relief gives the Dodgers a bullpen right now of Alexander, Ferguson, and Koarek all left-handed.

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