Dodgers 2020 Offseason Recap: Is This the Team to Win it All?

After a disappointing end to the 2019 season in the division series vs the eventual World Series champions Washington Nationals, the Dodgers looked forward to improving what was left from a 106 win team just a year ago. Going into the offseason the Dodgers were looking to make a big splash. This especially considering the big names on the market like Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Josh Donaldson. 

A Patient Offseason 

The offseason was a unique one to say the least for the Dodgers. An extreme amount of patience by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman led to arguably the best Dodgers offseason in years. 

Through early February the Dodgers seemed to have had one of the worst offseasons by any team, considering the amount of financial flexibility the team was in going into the offseason with being under the luxury tax threshold. They had the opportunity to sign an ace in Gerrit Cole who ultimately decided to sign with the New York Yankees, they had the chance to sign third baseman Anthony Rendon who went to their cross-town rivals LA Angels of Anaheim, and had the chance to sign Madison Bumgarner among other big-name free agents, but failed to do so all offseason long. The only signings the Dodgers had up to this point that made any sort of headlines was the acquisition of relief pitcher Blake Treinen, starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson, and signing an old friend in starting pitcher Alex Wood. 

New Pitchers, Both Old and New

Treinen, 31, was an all-star back in 2018 and had one of the better seasons a closer has ever had in MLB history that year, but struggled a lot more in 2019. Treinen back in 2018, had a 0.78 ERA in 68 appearances, compiling 100 strikeouts, a WHIP of 0.83, and a 531 ERA+, over 80 ⅓ innings pitched. His 2019 would not be the same, as almost all his numbers went up across the board and he lost his closer job with the Oakland A’s. 

Meanwhile, Nelson, 30, is coming off of two injury-plagued seasons that only saw him make three starts and 10 appearances, but he did compile a 3.49 ERA with 12 victories, 199 strikeouts and a 1.24 WHIP back in 2017. The promise is there to utilize Nelson as a back end rotation starter or back up starter when needed.

Wood, 29, was an ex-Dodgers from 2015-2018, who saw a vast amount of success in 2017 and 2018. In fact, he was sixth in ERA in the National League over that two-year stretch, only behind some of the games top tier pitchers in Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Aaron Nola, and Stephen Strasburg.  He was a part of the deal that traded away Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Kyle Farmer to the Reds. With the signing, he’ll be looking to lock up a back of the end rotation spot and without a doubt when he is on, he is on and could potentially be a difference-maker in 2020. 

The Blockbuster Move

Each signing only brings a vast amount of flexibility to an already strong Dodgers pitching staff. What really made the offseason though, was the blockbuster deal the Dodgers made for 2018 MVP Mookie Betts and former Cy Young Award winner David Price from the Boston Red Sox. 

The Dodgers had been in rumors all offseason long with some of the biggest names in the free-agent and trade market and with the Betts/Price deal, they finally hit gold. All offseason long, the mission was to make a big splash for the Dodgers front office and here they did so.

Betts is a top five player in all of baseball bound to make the Dodgers better offensively and an overall better defensive unit, especially with his pairing with last seasons NL MVP Cody Bellinger. Betts has compiled a 42.0 WAR since his debut back in 2014, and has earned four straight gold gloves in right field. Not to mention he has had three 25+ home run seasons and has had four seasons of stealing 20 or more bases. He’s a five-tool player that very well could be the difference-maker the Dodgers need to get them over the World Series hump.  

Price has still shown promise when healthy and has the chance to be a huge difference-maker. He was the AL Cy Young award winner back in 2012 and has compiled an outstanding 3.31 ERA over his career. He has struggled with some injuries over the past few seasons with Boston but has still shown many flashes of brilliance on a consistent basis. 

One thing is for sure, this offseason the Dodgers were here to make a splash however it could be. They made it happen and look forward to perhaps the most talented roster on paper in all of baseball. This offseason could be the one that finally helps build the roster that can win it all. 

 

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •