The Dodgers have a few needs, but their biggest one continues to be the need for a better bullpen. This year’s free agency class was rather short on impact relievers and has gotten even shorter in recent weeks with the San Diego Padres inking left-hander Drew Pomeranz to a four-year deal and the Atlanta Braves grabbing left-hander Will Smith on a three-year pact. There are still a couple names remaining on the open market, but none that are impact — or have the potential to be bonafide back-end arms.
In a recent column by Pedro Moura of The Athletic, Moura connected former Houston Astros reliever Will Harris to Los Angeles. Harris might not be a household name to some, but he certainly has been worthy of more due credit.
Outside of the connection to Harris, Moura identified his first roster projection for the 2020 Dodgers as well, which includes the return of Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Bring back Hyun-Jin Ryu. Add another reliable right-handed arm to the bullpen.
— The Athletic L.A. (@TheAthleticLA) December 4, 2019
Moura on the free agent reliever.
Harris, who was quite good this year for the Astros, is only one of many men who could make sense for the Dodgers next season. Much depends on the price tags relievers like him will command this offseason.
Will Harris, now 35 years old, has been pretty darn good over the last few seasons — actually pretty elite. Nobody talks about it ever, but Harris has a claim to being one of the best relievers in all of baseball. Across five seasons with the Astros, Harris has posted a 2.36 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. In 2019, he made 68 appearances while holding an excellent 1.50 ERA. He would undoubtedly be an upgrade for the Dodgers as someone who still can get it done late in his career.
Diving into the numbers a little deeper, Harris has 96th percentile spin on his fastball, 86th percentile spin on his curveball, and allowed a fantastic 84th percentile hard hit rate in 2019, per Baseball Savant. The Dodgers should be all over him this winter.
With the financial flexibility and prospect capital the club maintains, Andrew Friedman and company should look to make some moves for the backend of the bullpen this winter. Of course, only time will tell if they actually follow through or not.