The Los Angeles Dodgers have consistently been one of the top teams in the league for quite some time. Yet, despite all their success, the Boys in Blue have yet to capture their first World Series title since 1988.
Last year saw the team reach an unprecedented level, winning the most regular-season games in franchise history. As we all know, though, none of that translated to the postseason as they lost in the NLDS to the eventual world champion Washington Nationals.
So, Dodgers Nation was curious what fans think are the most important issues to be addressed by Andrew Friedman and company this offseason.
What's the most important issue to address this off-season?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) November 14, 2019
At 47%, the most votes went towards improving the bullpen and reasonably so.
Bullpen has been the most important issue since 2017. And unfortunately, it's been neglected.
— Jason Bolt (@teachnssgrad) November 15, 2019
In today's game the relievers are as important as the starters. I can remember when if the starter was effective you would probably only use a closer instead of 3 relievers in which one was bound to be ineffective thereby wasting a good performance.
— Robert HAMILTON (@RobertH59766785) November 15, 2019
The Dodgers bullpen actually finished ranked fourth in ERA in all of MLB for the 2019 season, but it’d be hard to find a fan who could legitimately say they trusted some of the relievers in crunch time situations.
For example, Kenley Jansen has yet to recapture his pre-2018 form, and at this point, he likely never will. He did reach 33 saves on the season but also had eight blown opportunities. In addition to that, for fans, it surely felt as if he was going to give up a home run in nearly every appearance.
Fans will have to wait to see how Friedman addresses the bullpen this winter. Many suggested he go after LHP Will Smith, formerly with the San Francisco Giants, but he just inked a new deal with the Atlanta Braves. Regardless, there will be other options available whether that be through the open market or through trade.
More Starting Pitching
The Dodgers starting pitching in 2019 was one of the best in the league, but that didn’t stop 37% of those voting from wanting to see improvements in the starting rotation.
For the first time in a while I say starting pitching. If Tony and May are working out in the offseason at Dodgers stadium and we have motives to resign hill, then fix the damn pen
— DEM BUMS (@nolan_baily) November 15, 2019
Starter, especially if Ryu and Hill leave. Not to slander him but Kershaw as your number 2 starter ain't it, he'll be a great 3, 4, or 5.
— Corey Van Vactor (@CNote_100RR) November 15, 2019
Part of this vote likely has to deal with the fact that Hyun-Jin Ryu is a free agent. Whether or not the Dodgers decided to resign Ryu, they have multiple avenues they can pursue to improve this aspect of their team.
Dodgers fans are certainly hoping the front office decides to spend big on names like Stephen Strasburg and Gerritt Cole. Should they add either one of those guys, they’d undoubtedly boast a dangerous rotation for the foreseeable future.
All of the Above
Only 17% of those voting picked the right-handed bat option, but that doesn’t mean that fans don’t want to see this aspect of the team addressed as well.
Many were calling for an “all of the above” choice to be included in the poll.
ALL… OF… THE… ABOVE!
— inez rodriguez (@jedutun_inez) November 14, 2019
All three but to win championships you need three very good starters, then relief pitchers ( we lost too many games in relief), and two or three hitters(left two many runners on).
— Lee (@LeeWest1941) November 15, 2019
D- all of the above. If I cannot watch the team, they should at least spend some of the money they are taking to deprive me of watching them.
— Mike Hendrickson (@1longdriver) November 15, 2019
For a team that won 106. Dodgers have issues everywhere.
— mrblue (@mrblue323) November 14, 2019
Should the front office decide that they’re willing to go above the luxury tax threshold, this could certainly be a possibility this winter. However, Friedman has had a track record of pinching pennies when it comes to improvements and may opt to do so again.
Whatever direction the Dodgers decided to go in, it’ll be interesting to see which issues they prioritize this offseason. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll finally figure it out and capture that elusive World Series title in 2020.