Today marks the end of the 2019/2020 baseball offseason. Pitchers and catchers officially report today to Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida.
At first glance, Dodger fans thought that Andrew Friedman and co. were not being as aggressive as they had hoped for. Losing out on big name superstars such as Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon.
However, the faith that was lost in Andrew Friedman was quickly regained when he completed a mega blockbuster deal that landed Red Sox superstars Mookie Betts, David Price and Minnesota Twins top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol.
Originally, this trade was configured differently with the Red Sox receiving Graterol from the Twins and just Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers, with Betts and Price getting sent to Los Angeles. There is no telling why this original trade didn’t work out but it ended up changing slightly and the Dodgers came out as the true winners of the trade regardless.
The Dodgers ended up sending Kenta Maeda and cash to the Minnesota Twins for Graterol, a prospect named Luke Raley and a draft pick. They also sent Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong to the Red Sox in exchange for Betts, Price and $48 million to help cover a portion of Price’s ridiculous contract.
I believe that the Dodgers came out on top this offseason. They were able to acquire a former MVP and a former Cy Young award winner for the cost of a few prospects. Additionally, they were able to secure some of their core players.
Outside of trade acquisitions, the Dodgers biggest move of the offseason was signing Cody Bellinger to a $11.5 million deal in arbitration. Bellinger is coming off of his 2019 National League MVP season and will surely continue to impress and make more money as the seasons go by.
Max Muncy and Chris Taylor were two of the Dodgers players that went to arbitration and received extensions instead of just one year deals. Muncy signed a three year, $26 million contract which is a steal for a player at his caliber. However, Muncy is a late bloomer at 30 years old and is most likely taking as much as he can get without being greedy.
The same goes for Chris Taylor. He signed a two year, $13.4 million contract extension. In my opinion, I think that Taylor is a player that received about as much as he is worth. He is a utility player that is capable of being an everyday starter on other teams.
Other notable players that went to arbitration were Corey Seager, Pedro Baez and Joc Pederson. There were others as well but I felt that these were interesting cases.
Corey Seager signed for one year, $7.6 million and I am a bit shocked that he didn’t receive a multi year extension. Granted, he is represented by Scott Boras but, I though he would at least sign a contract similar to Max Muncy’s. After all, Seager has two years left before hitting free agency and will certainly have a high price tag attached to him.
Pedro Baez signed for one year, $4 million. Baez is a reliever that is either really great or falls apart really quick. He has always been used as a scapegoat for Dodger fans since he’s been on the team. However, the guy really can pitch and has improved immensely.
Joc Pederson is a player that has a lot of attention right now. He was involved in a trade with the Angels that never happened once the Mookie Betts trade became official. For whatever reason, he wasn’t traded to the Angels and the Dodgers went to arbitration with him. Joc was looking for $9.5 million in arbitration and the Dodgers countered with $7.7 million. The Dodgers ended up winning their case and Joc will make $7.7 million in 2020, regardless of what team he is on to start the season.
Now while the Dodgers retained most of their players, they did let a few players go. Most notably, Hyun Jin Ryu and Rich Hill. Both players left the National League and signed with American League teams. Ryu joined the Toronto Blue Jays and Hill joined the Minnesota Twins.
In free agency, the Dodgers did not do much and that upset lots of fans but they did manage to sign a dominant reliever that was coming off of a down year. The Dodgers signed Blake Treinen to a one year, $10 million deal. Treinen was the 2018 AL Reliever of the year with the Oakland A’s.
Where the Dodgers stand, I don’t think there is a team that can actually stand toe to toe with the Dodgers in the National League. Adding Mookie Betts to a star studded offense and David Price to a rotation full of proven aces, they are already clear favorites to win the National League West.