Coming off back-to-back World Series losses, the Los Angeles Dodgers will look to finally get over the hump in 2019 and win their first championship since 1988.
The team returns its key nucleus of players from a year ago, although there have been a few changes throughout the offseason. Among the key additions have been outfielder A.J. Pollock, catcher Russell Martin and reliever Joe Kelly.
All-Star shortstop Corey Seager will also be returning from injury, so that can be considered an addition as well. Subtractions have been Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Yasmani Grandal, Alex Wood and likely Manny Machado, who is still a free agent.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently addressed the team’s offseason, and while he would not rule out potential changes before Opening Day, he is confident in the current roster, via Alden Gonzalez of ESPN:
Andrew Friedman sees “no weak spot” on his Dodgers roster, but said he’ll remain open-minded with available players. “I feel like we have a chance to be an elite team,” he said, “and I think we have a very well-rounded roster. It’s also got a number of core players that have won a significant number of games together. I think oftentimes that gets overlooked.”
If the Dodgers were to make any more significant moves, it would likely take them above the luxury tax threshold, which ownership doesn’t seem to want to do based on the actions that Friedman has taken this winter.
Even if no other additions are made though, the team presumably will look much different come October. Friedman is known to be aggressive at the trade deadline when the team’s weaknesses could be identified easier due to injuries or poor performance.
While the signings of Pollock and Kelly weren’t the big splashes that many fans were hoping for, they did address specific needs after the Dodgers struggled greatly against left-handed pitching and the bullpen faltered in the postseason a year ago.