The primary question the Dodgers face this winter ‘to buy, or not to buy?’. With the MLB Winter Meetings just over a month away, will the Dodgers finally set themselves up to make that big move? Not only a move to light a fire in the clubhouse, but to reinvigorate the fan base as well… time will tell.
According to Pedro Moura of the Athletic, the Dodgers time to figure out the direction of the franchise this off-season is now.
— Daniel Preciado (@DanJPreciado) November 7, 2019
It almost seems inevitable that the Dodgers’ front office has some sort of internal conflict — not physical or mental conflict — but conflict in terms of how to approach their future. Los Angeles needs to choose now: make the big push and bring in stars or stand pat with what they have and roll the dice.
MLB beat writer Ken Gurnick opined in October that the front office would need a “change in philosophy” to sign big free agents.
With that said, we all know which side of the coin they should flip to.
No doubt the team as currently constructed could contend for a World Series appearance. However, the team with major additions in the form of Anthony Rendon and/or Gerrit Cole instantly becomes a World Series favorite. Vegas currently has the Dodgers at +600 odds to win the World Series in 2020, second-best in all of baseball.
If the Dodgers happened to steal right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Houston Astros, they would surely jump the Astros in terms of World Series odds.
The Dodgers’ bullpen seems poised to be comprised almost entirely of starting pitchers due to their lack of impact ‘pen arms. The only true relievers that will be locks in the bullpen heading into 2020 will be likely closer Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez, and Adam Kolarek, along with some form of your Yimi Garcia and Casey Sadler types.
Moreover, it is entirely possible that the Dodgers trade away from their surplus of starting pitchers to make room for young top prospects like Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May, or even Mitchell White or Josiah Gray later on the 2020 campaign.
It’s Not a Want, It’s a Need
At this point in time, the Dodgers need to make a move. It is more of a need than a want. The Dodgers have already been linked to names like Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Mookie Betts, and Francisco Lindor. On the pitching side of things, it is totally possible that the Dodgers emerge as front-runners to acquire a back-end bullpen piece like the New York Mets’ Edwin Diaz or Dellin Betances in free agency.