Brandon Gomes: Dodgers Player Development Helps With Free Agents

The Los Angeles Dodgers came away this offseason with the addition of several big ticket pieces, all of whom elevate a talented group that aims to contend for a World Series title.

Shohei Ohtnai, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Teoscar Hernández and reportedly James Paxton are now in the fold after joining the defending National League West champions.

The Dodgers and game day preparation have become synonymous with one another around Major League Baseball, and the same goes for how they approach each player’s development.

The Dodgers have performed their fair share of career-turnarounds, leading players to receive multi-year contracts after unlocking their true potential.

When pursuing players in free agency, Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes believes that past success of helping players out can be beneficial in negotiations.

“I think for the most part, players are pretty dialed into teams and storylines of guys that have gone places and improved,” Gomes said. “We’re fortunate enough that I think most of the time we don’t need to harp on that all that much. But it certainly came up along the conversations.

“It’s something we take a lot of pride in with our hitting group. We think they’re as good as they get. So having that opportunity to make really good players even better, or make minor tweaks to keep guys within bumper lanes to stay more consistent, is something that we really value.

“I think a lot of times players see that as well, so it’s not something we harp on a ton, but we certainly bring it up. I think most of the time players appreciate that as well.”

Their level of consistency has allowed them to stay competitive under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. The Dodgers acknowledge that information in MLB shouldn’t be viewed as a negative, and although it can be overwhelming for some players, they know how to communicate it well.

A key for the Dodgers is also their forward-thinking view, and they can also find simple tweaks with players that can make all the difference in their upside.

The perfect example is Ryan Brasier, whom they picked up last season after the Boston Red Sox designated him for assignment. He was then tinkered with, and became one of baseball’s best relievers.

Dodgers to be ‘opportunistic’ with other roster additions

Even after their additions this offseason, the Dodgers are not ruling out any more additions to their group.

“You guys hear us talk about it a lot and I’m sure it’s boring,” Gomes said. “Right now, just be opportunistic. We feel good with our team. If Spring Training started tomorrow, we feel we have talent and depth in most areas.

“So it’s just continuing to evaluate and where opportunities present themselves for us to become even better, we’ll try to do that. But not feeling pressured to try and do anything either way.”

The Dodgers filled one of their last possibly needs for their roster in Paxton, and a high-leverage relief option would be the other area to attack. Brasier remains available and they’ve been connected to him, and there have also been rumors of the possibility of acquiring Kenley Jansen.

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