Last week the Los Angeles Dodgers made headlines when they re-signed Manager Dave Roberts to a four-year contract extension to manage the club through 2022. With so much talent already on their 25-man active roster and back-to-back league championships to show for it, what more could the Dodgers possibly do to maintain and improve upon their configuration of players before next season? Well after a rather low-key presence at the recently concluded Winter Meetings, here’s where they stand.
The Dodgers signed RHP Joe Kelly to a three-year, $25 million contract during the Winter Meetings, making their only move an impactful one. The 30-year-old is coming off a great season with the Boston Red Sox and a stellar postseason performance in which he posted a 0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched. Meanwhile, additional bullpen help is still available in this year’s deep free agent market with players like RHP Dave Robertson, RHP Adam Ottavino, and LHP Andrew Miller still up for grabs. Robertson, who is reportedly on the Dodgers short list of players they are actively trying to sign, could be a critical piece for this deep Dodgers roster to bolster a bullpen that fell apart in last year’s World Series.
Then there is still the looming question of which teams will be among the likely landing spots for SS Manny Machado and OF Bryce Harper. It doesn’t appear that the Dodgers will be making any attempt at a reunion with their trade deadline acquisition of Machado, or if they would be willing to shell out roughly $350 million for Bryce Harper when they already have a deep outfield and top prospects like OF Alex Verdugo coming up from the farm. There’s also the question of how many years the Dodgers would be willing to offer, aside from the money, to sign either of these players. Honestly, I don’t think Machado or Harper, or anyone frankly will be getting 10-year deals anymore like past players have gotten. It’s too much of a gamble to know if either one of them is going to be as good as they have been at the back end of the deal. Both players are expected to get contracts north of $300 million dollars, but it doesn’t appear the Dodgers will be the team making that investment.
Finally, the Dodgers are still in on trading for Cleveland Indians SP Corey Kluber, and they sure have the prospect depth to make an aggressive offer for him. He’d be another strong arm to add to their pitching rotation. But while there are a lot of impact players looking for jobs in positions the Dodgers could use (like bullpen relief, starting pitching, and a new everyday third baseman), the Dodgers are already built to be a contender next season. They’re just looking for that last piece to put them over the top.