Every December, representatives from every major league team descend on the MLB Winter Meetings — many with aspirations of improving their roster as the team prepares for the opening of spring training.
With baseball still a few months away, there’s obviously plenty of time for moves to be made after these meetings, but with all of the general managers and their staffs in one place, it’s a safe bet that the next few days will bring chaos.
For the Dodgers, a team many expected to be more active than they have been, the next few days won’t be an exception.
The question is, however, what’s on Ned Colletti’s shopping list in Florida?
The way I see it, the Dodgers still have three holes on their roster: a starting pitcher, a third baseman (or shortstop) and (according to Colletti) a few more relief pitchers.
In the starting pitcher market, the name you’ll hear most over the next few days is David Price — a name the Dodgers have been linked to dating all the way back to last season.
With general managers in the same room, the odds of a trade happening are always higher and with the uncertainty surrounding the Japanese posting system and Masahiro Tankaka, expect this rumor to reach its climax.
Will it really happen? I’m not sure.
I still think the Dodgers would like to sign a pitcher, rather than give up high priced talent to get one, but with Colletti in charge, reason isn’t always the best predictor.
If the Dodgers do add another starter this offseason (remember, they still have Billingsley, Beckett and Fife under contract), I’d still bet on it being Tanaka. The odds of them sticking with what they’ve got would appear to be getting higher and higher, however.
The most excitement for the Dodgers this weekend will probably come from this area of need — especially in trade rumors surrounding one of their extra outfielders.
With Adrian Gonzalez the only real constant in the Dodgers infield, it appears they could go after a player at any position other than first base. That said, many expect Alexander Guerrero to play second base in the majors (despite rumors of his ability to play shortstop), so the assumption is that any move will be on the left side of the infield.
With Hanley Ramirez’s contract extension still in discussions, the notion of him moving to third base appears to be on the table if an extension is reached. With that being the case, the Dodgers would then be free to open their search to both third basemen and shortstops.
The common assumption to begin the offseason was that Juan Uribe would re-sign and this position would be a non-issue, but given Uribe’s rollercoaster history with the team (and his desire for a multi-year deal), I think the Dodgers are smart to be considering all of their options.
The names you’ll hear a lot this week in trade rumors are Will Middlebrooks and Kyle Seager — two young third basemen who might be on the table in a potential Matt Kemp swap.
Before hearing from Colletti, I would’ve guessed that the Dodger bullpen was just one more arm away from being complete. With Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow and Brandon League all still under contract, the Dodgers only have a couple spots in the bullpen remaining.
Factor in the presence of Jose Dominguez, Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert, Onelki Garcia and Stephen Fife and I assumed the Dodgers were close. Colletti, however, said he’s interested in adding a left-handed reliever, another right-handed middle reliever and possibly a long reliever.
There has been hope that the return of JP Howell would fill one of those spots, but with no deal reached, there’s no reason to believe that’s imminent.
So many holes, so many rumors. Beware, though — there’s only more to come.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Brian Wilson reached agreement on a one-year deal this week