We all know that Bryce Harper is a key free agent and one that the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to sign. Dodger fans also know that this team can be disgustingly cheap sometimes in terms of acquiring or signing impactful players. So let’s talk about what has happened so far this offseason.
The first major move that was made since the season ended was signing Joe Kelly to a 3 year, $25 million contract. Kelly was formerly on the Boston Red Sox and the Dodgers got to see him a handful of times when he dominated them in the World Series in 2018. Realizing how effective Kelly was, the Dodgers offered him a handsome contract and he signed. Joe Kelly is a Southern California guy and played for University of California, Riverside.
Some fans may have a negative view of Kelly because of what happened back in 2013 when he was pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals. Kelly was the pitcher that broke Hanley Ramirez’s ribs in the 2013 NLCS. Kelly has since apologized and hopes fans will forget about that when the Dodgers win the World Series in 2019.
The second major move of this offseason and potentially the biggest was the trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds. The trade sent Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer to the Reds in exchange for Homer Bailey, Josiah Grey and Jeter Downs. This trade broke the hearts of many Dodger fans as Kemp and Puig were obvious fan favorites. For myself, it was a bummer but I can see why the Dodgers did it. As we all know, the Dodgers had a surplus of outfielders and pitchers, they had to get rid of some. Maybe not the best choice to get rid of the fan favorites all at once. Anyways, after receiving Bailey, he was immediately released from the Dodgers. Many fans simply said this trade was an absolute failure for the Dodgers. I don’t think it was though.
This trade got rid of handful of players, received a couple of top prospects and opened up the outfield a little more. Additionally, the Dodgers were able to save a handful of money in order to potentially sign a Bryce Harper. I’m not in the bandwagon that believes if the Dodgers don’t sign Harper then this trade was a complete disaster. Actually, I can see two different paths that the Dodgers may end up taking.
The first and obvious path is signing Bryce Harper. The Dodgers want him but this current front office is relentless to give out long term contracts or spend ridiculous amounts of money. Only time will tell what Harper finally decides to do. I love the guy and I hope he comes to the Dodgers, if he doesn’t, well then here’s my second option!
If the Dodgers are unable to sign Bryce Harper, I think they will look at two players who they are familiar with: AJ Pollock and DJ Lemahieu. Both players have played in the National League West for pretty much their entire careers. Additionally, both players would be significantly less than what it would cost for Harper. Not only that, signing both of these players adds a solid, gold glove caliber player in the outfield and at second base. What the Dodgers lacked last season was a consistent contact hitter, both of these hitters fit that bill and both of these hitters are right handers which would help offset the Dodgers lefty dominant lineup.
Imagine this lineup on Opening Day 2019:
- DJ Lemahieu, 2B
- Corey Seager, SS
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Max Muncy, 1B
- AJ Pollock, CF
- Cody Bellinger, RF
- Joc Pederson, LF
- Austin Barnes, C
This lineup would be very effective as it is not too righty or lefty dominant which gives the Dodgers a chance to relax on the analytics. I put Austin Barnes as catcher because really, he’s the only catcher the Dodgers have at the moment. Do I think the Dodgers will end up with another top catcher? Yes. I think the Dodgers will end up resigning Yasmani Grandal to a one year deal. Grandal’s market is dwindling and the Marlins are still asking for a Kings ransom for Realmuto. I expect to see Grandal back with the Dodgers for the start of the 2019 season.
Besides a free agent signing, the only other thing I can see the Dodgers doing is making a trade for Kluber or Bauer. It makes too much sense and the Dodgers have exactly what the Indians want. Here would be a projected rotation if the Dodgers landed Kluber or Bauer:
- Clayton Kershaw
- Corey Kluber/Walker Buehler
- Walker Buehler/ Trevor Bauer
- Rich Hill
- Hyun-Jin Ryu
I put Bauer as a number three because he hasn’t been consistent enough in his career to earn a number two spot. In Cleveland he was a number two but in Los Angeles with Kershaw and Buehler holding it down, you take the next step in line. Kluber on the other hand is an ace and has won two Cy Young awards to prove it.
So do you guys agree with what I have said so far? Am I leaving anything major out? What are your opinions? Let me know!