The annual MLB Winter Meetings begin on Sunday, December 3, in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are sure to be busy, along with most other clubs across the league.
The team has indicated they will be aggressive with improving their roster this offseason, and among their biggest priorities is adding starting pitching.
The Dodgers have been linked to some of the biggest free agents available heading into the Winter Meetings, as well as potential trade candidates who could be on the move between now and Opening Day.
Up to this point, the Dodgers’ only moves have been re-signing Ricky Vanasco, and reportedly agreeing to terms with Jason Heyward and Joe Kelly on respective one-year contracts. Meanwhile, L.A. saw Lance Lynn return to the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year deal.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expects there to be plenty of activity at the Winter Meetings, but stopped short of guaranteeing a signing or trade will come to fruition.
At the very least, the Dodgers and other clubs figure to lay the groundwork during the Winter Meetings for moves that could happen later in the offseason.
Dodgers free agents
Starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías
Relief pitchers: Ryan Brasier, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, Daniel Hudson, Jimmy Nelson, Alex Reyes
Infielders: Amed Rosario, Kolten Wong
Outfielders: Jason Heyward, David Peralta, Jake Marisnick
Infielders/Outfielders: Kiké Hernández
Designated hitter: J.D. Martinez
Dodgers top priorities at Winter Meetings
Upgrading the starting rotation
The Dodgers hope to add at least two starting pitchers this offseason, including an impact arm for the top of the rotation.
The team reportedly tried signing Aaron Nola before he returned to the Philadelphia Phillies, and have shown interest in other frontline starters such as Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, Blake Snell and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
In terms of pitchers who could fill out the backend of the rotation, the Dodgers have been linked to Lucas Giolito and Seth Lugo. The team could look to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, but he will be sidelined until at least the second half of 2024 after undergoing left shoulder surgery.
Signing Shohei Ohtani
As they search for starting pitching, the Dodgers remain among the favorites to sign the biggest prize of the offseason in Shohei Ohtani, who will dominate the Winter Meetings. The two-way star could choose his next team in Nashville and is expected to sign a record-setting contract of at least $500 million.
Ohtani won’t pitch next season after undergoing elbow surgery, but should return to the mound in 2025. He will still be able to serve as a designated hitter without any limitations in 2024.
In the event Ohtani signs elsewhere, the Dodgers could pivot to re-signing J.D. Martinez for the DH spot.
Bolstering position-player depth
The Dodgers additionally will need to round out their bench this offseason, which began with the reported re-signing of Heyward. If the team looks to add another left-hander bat, Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler reportedly could be an option as well.
Kiké Hernández previously expressed a willingness to re-sign with the Dodgers, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the two sides work out a deal after the utility man found success in his return to L.A.
Winter Meetings schedule
Sunday, December 3: Winter Meetings begin in Nashville, Tennessee
Sunday, December 3: Hall of Fame Contemporary Baseball Era voting results are announced on MLB Network at 4:30 p.m. PT
Tuesday, December 5: MLB Draft Lottery
Wednesday, December 6: Rule 5 Draft takes place
Wednesday, December 6: Winter Meetings end
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