Grading The Dodgers’ Offseason Moves: Friedman Hire Shines

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Dodgers sign Brandon McCarthy; four years, $48 million

My first initial reaction to this signing was that it seemed like an overpay, but after seeing what Edinson Volquez and Ervin Santana got from their respective teams, the cost can be justified.

McCarthy struggled mightily with Arizona, largely due to the Diamondbacks’ poor middle infield defense and the fact that they wouldn’t let him use his cutter. When he was traded to New York, he began using his cutter effectively and the results showed.

In 90.1 innings as a Yankee, McCarthy posted a superb 2.89 ERA, 3.22 FIP, and 2.85 xFIP according to FanGraphs. Oddly enough, the Yankees didn’t have a strong middle infield defense either and Yankee Stadium is arguably the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the league.

Knowing those implications, his success as a Yankee is more impressive than what he is given credit for. As McCarthy makes his transition to the Dodgers, he’ll have one of the strongest defenses up the middle behind him and he’ll be pitching in a more spacious ballpark, so it’s definitely reasonable to expect him to continue his new-found success into 2015.

His health, however, is always a reason for pessimism, as he’s only totaled 200 innings in a season once in his nine-year career. For what it’s worth, he changed his offseason conditioning program in 2013, and so far, it appears to be working.

Grade: B-

Dodgers sign Brett Anderson; one year, $10 million

Like McCarthy, Anderson is a very talented pitcher that comes with serious health concerns. He has accumulated 100+ innings in a season just twice and has only tallied 123 innings since the beginning of 2012.

In a small sample size, he posted a 2.91 ERA and 2.99 FIP in 43.1 innings last season with the Colorado Rockies. Those are certainly impressive numbers when you take into account how difficult it is to pitch at Coors Field, but just like in previous seasons, his year was cut short due to injuries.

If Anderson can finally figure out a way to stay healthy in 2015, the Dodgers could have a steal for one year and $10 million — but that simply can’t be assumed from him.

Grade: C+

It’s unlikely that the team makes another blockbuster acquisition, but a reliever such as Joba Chamberlain can be signed as an effort to help make up for the 8-12 weeks without Kenley Jansen.

The Dodgers could also sign Yoan Moncada, Hector Olivera or possibly both, along with other Cuban players when they are cleared to sign with MLB teams. On Saturday, they signed Brandon Beachy to a one-year deal with a club option for 2016.

Beachy also comes with health concerns, but he too could be a viable option upon returning, which Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said may not be until the All-Star break.

There were many franchise-altering moves in the 2014 offseason, for better or for worse, but the result appears to be another entertaining season in 2015.


Zack Greinke Isn’t Sure If Dodgers Improved During Offseason

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Written by Staff Writer


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