The Los Angeles Dodgers remain on the hunt for additions to their roster as the 2024 Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee concluded on Wednesday afternoon.
This year’s meetings were rather quiet when compared to last year, when Major League Baseball saw a huge chunk of free agent signings announced. A huge difference this time around is the availability of Shohei Ohtani, and a bevy of other big name, high-priced players on the open market.
Ohtani is in a class of his own, whereas Yoshinobu Yamamoto seems to be at the front of the starting pitching class. The 25-year-old recently won his third consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award, which is Nippon Professional Baseball’s (NPB) equivalent of MLB’s Cy Young.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has indicated the franchise would be active in their attempt to bring in blue-chip talent, and according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the club is looking to add a multitude of stars to the roster:
“They want Ohtani. They want Yamamoto. And they want Chicago White Sox starter Dylan Cease, too. They’re going for the jugular. “
The market for right-hander Dylan Cease is rumored to be robust, with the Chicago White Sox waiting until Ohtani, Yamamoto, Blake Snell, and others sign before they agree to any trades.
Recently, the Dodgers were rumored as being one of the teams having the most interest in acquiring Cease, who would slot into their rotation as a high-upside arm.
Thesame goes for Ohtani and Yamamoto, which points to Friedman having a full-go in his search to supplement the team with outside talent.
The financial commitment to land the top two free agents would be massive, with Ohtani expected to land around $600 million and Yamamoto believed to be lined up for around $300 million, but the Dodgers have the financial ability and need for both of them. As for Cease, he would require a significant prospect return to the White Sox as he has two years left on his contract.
What would a trio of Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Dylan Cease do for the Dodgers
By adding just one of Ohtani, Yamamoto or Cease would be a plus to their current group, and even two would be almost a dream offseason.
But if the Dodgers do go all-in and somehow find a way to be the highest bidder on both Ohtani and Yamamoto, while also trading for Cease, Friedman’s perfect offseason is in the bag. Going into the 2024 season, they would have two front-end arms to go alongside Bobby Miller as their number three and Walker Buehler returning from his second Tommy John to provide more upside.
Ohtani’s bat would instantly become the third piece to the Dodgers’ one-two punch of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman at the top of the lineup. Then, looking ahead to 2025, the two-way phenom should be on track to pitch, providing them with another ace in the starting rotation.
Of course, the trio isn’t all necessary, but Ohtani and Yamamoto would be the duo that would both command the most in pure contract cost, while filling two incredible needs for this Dodgers roster.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!