The Dodgers have struck out on all fronts so far this off-season. Although there is reason to believe that the club is involved in the trade market and free agent market, fans crave more than just right-handed reliever Blake Treinen — and for good reason. The Dodgers have to make a move, right?
However, the main question posed by Ken Rosenthal, Mark Feinsand, and Joel Sherman on MLB Network this morning was: “How desperate are the Dodgers?” While the word ‘desperate’ might be a bit of an exaggeration, the Dodgers’ front office has to be feeling immense pressure at present.
They are currently engaged in talks with the Cleveland Indians on shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, in addition to talks with the Boston Red Sox on outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price.
On the MLB Network segment, Joel Sherman of the New York Post was assigned to talk about the Dodgers. This is what he had to say about the club’s ‘desperation’ and positioning:
“It’s hard to call a team that I still think will win the NL West easily ‘desperate’, but there is a sliver of where they have problems — they have so much youth in their rotation plus some fragility with [Clayton] Kershaw. They are going to depend on the Urias’s, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin. I think that is worrisome.”
While the Dodgers do have a very strong roster with the reigning NL MVP on it in Cody Bellinger and a star ace in Walker Buehler, there are question marks. The best way to dissolve the worries is to address the top of the roster.
“I think they wanted to really try to impact the top of their roster. I also wonder — they were so willing to try and find a third baseman in this market — do they know something about Justin Turner’s physicality that we maybe all do not know? Maybe moving Justin Turner to first base.”
Justin Turner is aging quickly and his defense is declining. A move for a star third baseman — Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, etc. — would benefit the Dodgers immensely. Justin Turner could play first base in his last season under contract with the team.
“I’m surprised they haven’t done anything, yet. I would be shocked if we showed up at spring training and they haven’t done Josh Hader, Francisco Lindor, or Mike Clevinger, or Mookie Betts, or they haven’t done something. They have the talent to do it.”
Andrew Friedman is undoubtedly working hard to try and land some excellent assets in Los Angeles. He simply has not done it yet. The off-season is still young and there is no reason to overreact at this juncture.
“The one thing I always keep in mind — Andrew Friedman famously said that if you apply logic to free agency, you will finish third on every free agent. So far, they are keep finishing third. If they want to try and impact the top of their roster, they are going to have to give up some of the pieces that they are clutching onto hard, but it will impact the roster in a great way and I believe they will do it.”
They knew Stephen Strasburg was returning to Washington, they made an extremely competitive offer to Gerrit Cole, and they were told by Anthony Rendon’s camp that he didn’t want the Los Angeles lifestyle. It’s not on them. They are not fair to blame. Just wait and one piece will land.