Since Dave Roberts took over as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 2016 season, they have gone one to have one of the most successful stretches in franchise history.
They notably have won four straight National League West titles (seven overall), twice reached the World Series, and twice had 100-plus win seasons as well. However, ending the franchise’s championship drought has continue to evade Roberts and the Dodgers.
The 2019 season was especially disappointing for the Dodgers as they won a franchise-record 106 regular-season games but were defeated by the Washington Nationals in the NL Division Series.
Because of that, the Dodgers were expected to be one of the more active teams on the free-agent and trade markets this winter. “I think that you’ve got to shuffle the deck sometimes,” Roberts recently said.
“Although we’ve had a lot of consistency, I do think there’s pieces and giving guys other opportunities, I think that’s a good thing for them. And I think that for us to keep things fresh is a good thing. I think that you don’t ever want to get stagnant and complacent. I think that’s a good thing, and I know Andrew feels the same way.”
While Roberts may feel that way, the Dodgers have been pretty quiet to this point. They were linked to big-name free agents Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu, but watched all of them sign elsewhere.
The only Major-League signing the Dodgers have made this winter was reliever Blake Treinen to a one-year contract. While he should be a solid addition to the bullpen, there are other needs to be addressed as well.
With a majority of the winter’s best free agents already signed, the Dodgers may now need to shift their focus to the trade market. They have been linked the Francisco Lindor, Mike Clevinger and Mookie Betts, who would not be cheap but are the top-tier type of talented players L.A. is said to be looking for.
Roberts hinted at the Winter Meetings that the roster turnover might be greater this winter than any since he has been in the organization, so it is now up to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to get those deals done and get the Dodgers back into World Series contention in 2020.
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