It’s been a relatively quiet winter for the Los Angeles Dodgers to this point, but many opportunities to improve their roster still lie ahead in free agency and the trade market.
The Dodgers took advantage of the latter last week, addressing their catching void with a familiar face in Russell Martin. The 35-year-old is expected to serve as a short-term stopgap until top prospects Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith are deemed Major League-ready.
Prior to that, the Dodgers most notably shipped Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer to the Cincinnati Reds in a salary-motivated trade that cleared multiple logjams and payroll.
Los Angeles also fortified the back-end of their bullpen with the signing of former Boston Red Sox setup man Joe Kelly, who thrived against his new club in the 2018 World Series.
When assessing his work this offseason, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman indicated that he will continue to seek upgrades despite being generally pleased with the current roster as is, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“Our focus is always on wanting to get better,” Friedman said, when asked if he might still be in the market for a catcher, without mentioning any names (like Realmuto). “We like the team we have in place, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t focusing on continuing to improve it, whether that’s before the season starts or when the season is in progress.”
Even with the addition of Martin, the Dodgers could still hypothetically swing a trade for Miami Marlins All-Star J.T. Realmuto. Though, that would be contingent on the Marlins drastically lowering their asking price, who continue to covet Cody Bellinger in any deal.
The Dodgers have also been tied to Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber for the better part of the offseason, though some are skeptical that the organization will seriously entertain the prospect of trading him.
In terms of free agency, the two most prominent players in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain available to sign. Los Angeles has been loosely linked to the former, who would significantly boost an outfield that’s now without the services of Puig and Kemp.