2018 Dodgers Still Projecting To Be Plenty Good, Even Without Giancarlo Stanton

2018 Dodgers Still Projecting To Be Plenty Good, Even Without Giancarlo Stanton

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, everyone. I’ll be that guy…

(looks around)

(whispers quietly)

It’s going to be okay.

No, the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t trade for Giancarlo Stanton. And no, the Dodgers weren’t able to re-sign Brandon Morrow. In fact, they didn’t even sign two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who stunningly opted for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

And you know what? They’re STILL going to be just fine.

Let’s start with Stanton. I’ve said this before, and I’m happy to acknowledge no one likes hearing this, but trust me when I say that contract is going to be a back-breaker a few years from now.

I know, I know, fans want to win now. I get it, but when a player who already has injury problems is locked up through his age-38 season at $25 million a year, it’s not the end of the world when you don’t get him. Even if he is one of the best players in baseball.

Was getting the improvement from, say, Yasiel Puig to Stanton worth that bad of a contract? Meh, maybe? But definitely not the end of the world.

Ohtani hurt because there was legitimately no downside to adding him. But the expectations there were always tempered. And the silver lining with both Stanton and Ohtani is that neither will be playing in the National League.

In some ways the Morrow loss hurts the most, only because he’s someone the Dodgers desperately depended on during this year’s World Series run. But again, the Dodgers will survive.

In 2018, the Dodgers, as of now, will return every major piece of their team aside from Morrow and a pair of trade deadline acquisitions in Tony Watson and Yu Darvish.

They’ll get Andrew Toles back, they’ll get a full season of Tony Cingrani, they’ll get Julio Urias back at some point (hopefully). And then there are the improving youngsters in Austin Barnes, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler, among others.

The funny thing about the offseason is that there is hardly ever a roster-to-roster comparison. Instead, the focus is on move-to-move, or the lack of a trade or signing. The New York Yankees are the talk of the town because they made a move, while Dodgers fans are devastated because they didn’t.

But news flash: That doesn’t automatically mean the Dodgers will be worse than the Yankees next year. What if the Dodgers began the offseason in better shape than almost anyone? Which they essentially did.

Isn’t it feasible that they’ll leave what could be a slow offseason still a proverbial favorite to return to the World Series? Entirely so.

The 2018 Dodgers are going to be very good. They return arguably the best infield in baseball, especially if Chris Taylor plays more second base, a dynamic outfield and a still-ridiculously-good starting rotation.

Oh yeah, and they’ve also still got the best closer in baseball and a trio of the league’s best prospects. I know it’s hard for fans of any team to swallow a slow offseason, but let’s not live too much in the moment that we miss the big picture.

The 2018 Dodgers are among the favorites to make the World Series — and if oddsmakers would let you bet on 2019, 2020 and beyond, well guess what? The Dodgers would almost assuredly be one of the favorites then, too.

Andrew Friedman and Co. will make some moves before Spring Training rolls around, and the truth is, they may not be the moves you were hoping for. But who cares?

The Dodgers are still going to be the defending NL Champs and World Series favorites. And isn’t that all that really matters?