The Dodgers are a very good baseball team — like, excellent. They lost Hyun-Jin Ryu in free agency to the Toronto Blue Jays and are still basically a 100-win ball club. However, with reliever Blake Treinen being the only needle-moving acquisition this off-season, the team has only gotten worse on paper from last season. It’s time that they stop being regular season champions and turn themselves into World Series champions.
A signing of arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole, or star third baseman Anthony Rendon was not a need — it was a want. However, the lack of an impact move only allows other contenders to get better while the Dodgers stay stagnant.
As Andy McCullough of The Athletic wrote about in a recent column, there is a sense of urgency — or there should be for the Dodgers — but one thing rings true: the Dodgers will win the NL West title for the eighth straight year. However, the roster as presently constructed has a so-so chance of winning what matters most.
Multiple things can be true:
1. The Dodgers should be the favorites to win the National League pennant in 2020.
2. This offseason has still been a total drag for their fans. https://t.co/BVNDEIzDZ1
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) December 24, 2019
One official in the NL West had this to say about Los Angeles:
“The Dodgers just make things so much harder for us.”
Clayton Kershaw also chimed in:
“Over the years here, I’m just thankful. Not every player gets to be on a team in the position that we are, every single year. I think we’re right at the top of the National League again. With whatever happens between now and spring training, or at the trade deadline or whatever, it’ll just make us better.”
There are players on the Dodgers roster who have never played a season of their careers without making the playoffs — namely Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, and Corey Seager. That will likely remain for years to come. However, none have rings on their fingers. Kershaw and Jansen don’t. Justin Turner doesn’t. That needs to change.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts still envisions changes to the roster. He said the following even before the big three free agents signed lucrative deals this winter:
“This is probably the most turnover we’ll have from one season to the next.”
He is still sticking with that philosophy:
“I think that you’ve got to shuffle the deck sometimes. Although we’ve had a lot of consistency, I think that for us to keep things fresh is a good thing. I think that you don’t ever want to get stagnant and complacent.”
Good words to hear from the Dodgers’ manager.
Fans are allowed to be discouraged — they should be. When the drought goes on for 32 seasons, it’s a little too much. The Dodgers have been in prime position to win a World Series on numerous occasions now, but they have failed to do so. The recipe and roster needs change and this winter seems like the prime time to embrace it.