The annual MLB Winter Meetings are underway, but so far there has not been much activity despite the hype going into them.
Like many clubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman have been busy with their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
They have also been involved in trade discussions, most notably around Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease, but so far, their efforts have yet to produce any blockbuster acquisitions.
While they have yet to make a splash this week, Friedman emphasized the Dodgers aren’t trying to force any deals to get done during the Winter Meetings, and they will make their roster better at any time when the opportunity presents itself, via Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:
“From our standpoint, we’re never trying to time something to happen at the Winter Meetings,” Friedman said. “It is whenever a deal lines up and makes sense, we do it irrespective of the day.”
The good news for the Dodgers is all their top targets are still available, and they are still widely considered the frontrunner to sign Ohtani. Despite some early indications Ohtani could sign during the Winter Meetings, that expectation has since been pushed back to the coming weeks.
Yamamoto is also scheduled to meet with teams in person once the Winter Meetings are over following his Zoom calls with interested clubs last week, so he was never a real option to sign this week.
As for Cease, there was some momentum building in trade discussions with the belief a deal could get done soon, but the White Sox said they are going to remain patient and wait for the top free agent pitchers to come off the board, hoping teams will become more desperate to line up on a trade.
However, the Winter Meetings have allowed for trade discussions around Corbin Burnes to pick up, although there is no indication a deal is close.
There’s also still time for the Dodgers to make something happen as the Winter Meetings are set to end on Wednesday, with most clubs leaving following the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.
Andrew Friedman saw momentum prior to Winter Meetings
Prior to the start of the Winter Meetings, Friedman acknowledged the level of activity across the sport had increased, which could allow for a multitude of deals to get done, not just for the Dodgers, but every team.
On the other hand, Friedman would also not commit to a deal getting done during this time. In some years, the Dodgers have had multiple trades and signings agreed to during the meetings, while other years they remained mostly quiet.
Even if no deals get done, the Dodgers, and all other clubs, use this time to set the framework for deals, which can end up getting completed later, and figuring out what may be realistic and what they should turn their attention away from.
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