Have you ever been so ready for the Los Angeles Dodgers to make a key move? For one, I haven’t. The winter leading into the 2020 season feels one of missed opportunity, and failure to put the exclamation point on a team that should be very competitive once again when the new season begins.
So where do the Dodgers go from here?
In a recent article at The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal says that the Dodgers’ most realistic remaining options are Kris Bryant and Josh Donaldson.
With four superstars on the trade market, the Hot Stove is still sizzling – and several club are still not done. Story: https://t.co/oLcWtAbRYW
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 9, 2020
First, Rosenthal gives us the lay of the land as things sit approaching mid-January.
Betts and Lindor appear longshots. Arenado almost certainly will not be traded within the division. That leaves a trade for Bryant or the signing of free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson as perhaps the Dodgers’ most realistic possibilities.
After stating that a trade for Mookie Betts just isn’t likely, Rosenthal offers the following.
A Lindor trade would be somewhat problematic — he would be an upgrade over Corey Seager, but perhaps not enough of one to justify the acquisition cost. The Dodgers always could trade Seager to a team such as the Reds, who have shown interest in him all offseason. They also could keep Seager, but moving him to third base would create a potentially uncomfortable situation; both Lindor and Seager are potential 2021-22 free agents.
Since the Indians are already declaring Lindor their Opening Day shortstop, let’s go ahead and cross him off the list. What that leaves is Bryant and Donaldson. Here’s what Rosenthal points out of the two for comparison’s sake.
Bryant, with his ability to play third, first and both corner-outfield positions, seems ideal for the Dodgers, who relish such versatility. His right-handed bat also would fit the team’s predominantly left-handed lineup. The Cubs’ ask, though, would not be inconsequential. Nor would the finances, with Bryant projecting to make at least $40 million over the next two years.
Donaldson, 34, is seven years older than Bryant and would cost more money over a longer period, but the only loss of talent would be a draft pick. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman almost certainly would not want to offer four years, but if all other options fail, what alternative will he have? Donaldson would give the Dodgers a competitive edge they sometimes appear to lack, not to mention excellent all-around performance.
All of this is fun to read about and speculate, but at some point you have to come to the realization that the Dodgers might not be adding a piece for a while. Already, part owner Stan Kasten has alluded to the fact that the Dodgers are comfortable with the pieces they have.
If they do decide to get wild, would you rather have Donaldson or Bryant? Answer as if your primary goal is winning a title with the current team in 2020, and let us know in the comments why you make your preference one versus the other.