It’s response season for the LA Dodgers. After the San Diego Padres went and traded for a new front of the rotation, focus has shifted to Los Angeles and what president of baseball ops Andrew Friedman might do to counter. If anything at all.
This was a topic of conversation on MLB Network’s Hot Stove program on Tuesday morning where guest, am570’s Dodger Talk host Dave Vassegh, said he feels Andy Friedman might have a trick up his sleeve.
Andrew did say at the beginning of the winter that he would like to add a right-handed bat, and from what I’m hearing, DJ LeMahieu is on their radar. They are definitely in talks with LeMahieu.
It’s been noted that the 32-year-old LeMahieu is asking for big money in free agency this winter. While the industry still believes that a reunion with the Yankees is the most likely to happen, New York is reportedly balking at giving in to the infielder’s demand for a 5-year deal.
With all that in mind, it’s harder to see the Dodgers offering a deal of that magnitude to a 32-year-old player. Even if that player is a two-time batting champ. Still, as Vassegh notes, Andrew Friedman has maintained all winter long that his goals for the offseason are adding relief help and a right-handed bat. Few right-handed batters in the league are better than DJ LeMahieu.
It would be a fantastic get for the Dodgers. Moreover, it would be a high-level but imperfect response to the Padres and their recent wheeling and dealing. But, in all likelihood, it would also spell the end of Justin Turner’s career in blue. Provided that LA’s plan is to stay close to or under the luxury tax threshold in 2021.
The new year is days away and spring training starts in less than two months. While an immediate response from the Dodgers would be nice, there’s really no rush.