With speculations flying across Major League Baseball about which teams will be the ones to sign free agent SS Manny Machado and OF Bryce Harper this offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers and their rich spending track record have led many to wonder about a possible reunion with SS Manny Machado, who they acquired this past trade deadline, or a competitive bid to bring in OF Bryce Harper who is projected to be offered as much as a $350 – $400 million contract. So the question is, will the Dodgers make such expensive bids for Machado or Harper?
My answer is, ‘not for that kind of money.’ Are you kidding? Who’s going to give that to them? While it may create excitement for a fan base to bring in star talent, and it is when you see your team spending on big talent like that, at the end of the day you want to put your team in a position to win and be able to afford players at other positions to help in pursuit of that goal – win. Therefore, rather than spend on another outfielder or a high price infielder (neither of which are positions the Dodgers desperately need to fill), this team would benefit more from another starting pitcher to compliment their ace SP Clayton Kershaw, SP Walker Buehler, and SP Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers have no problem spending on talent, which is why I think it would be more prudent for them to consider free agent SP Patrick Corbin or SP Nathan Eovaldi in order to bolster their starting pitching and protect the powerful bats currently on their active roster. Then they should target two really good relievers and a catcher. As far as the overall best relief pitcher in the free agency pool this year, former Rockies RHP Adam Ottavino should be placed at the top of the Dodgers short list of impact relievers they could potentially sign. They should also look to acquire RHP David Robertson or RHP Jeurys Familia for potential set up men to their all-star closer Kenley Jansen.
However, where the catcher position is concerned there is no sugar coating how desperately the Dodgers need to find replacements for their former catcher Yasmani Grandal and their current back-up catcher Austin Barnes who both performed horribly in this year’s World Series against the Boston Red Sox. While the Los Angeles Dodgers remain active in the trade market this offseason, some are speculating that the Dodgers have been involved in serious discussions with the Cleveland Indians regarding several potential trade scenarios that could result in Indians all-star catcher Yan Gomes moving to LA. This could be perceived as another great option for the Dodgers after their trade talks with the Miami Marlins fell through earlier this offseason in LA’s attempt to acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Meanwhile in the farm system, the Dodgers do have help coming in the catcher position considering their MLB No. 3 ranked catching prospect, Keibert Ruiz, could be tapped to make his Major League debut as soon as 2019. The Dodgers do have a very robust scouting system and have benefitted from investing big in their scouting program since their new owners took over back in 2013, which means a lot since Ruiz is considered one of the Dodgers top-ranked prospects in their entire farm system. The bottom line is, the Dodgers have other needs and problems to address, none of which include offering expensive contracts for two position players the Dodgers do not need.