The baseball offseason has come and gone, as some pitchers and catchers across Major League Baseball reported for Spring Training on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Dodgers open camp on Friday, with their first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb. 25.
Friday will mark the official end of what’s been an interesting offseason for the Dodgers. They were outbid by the Arizona Diamondbacks for Zack Greinke, which isn’t what’s come to be expected from an organization with deep pockets.
Then the Dodgers had a trade for closer Aroldis Chapman fall apart, and a contract agreement with free agent Hisashi Iwakuma come undone after a failed physical.
Instead of Iwakuma and Chapman, Los Angeles wound up adding veteran Scott Kazmir and Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda to the organization.
The Dodgers also unexpectedly re-signed second baseman Howie Kendrick to a two-year, $20 million contract, adding to their infield depth.
In a survey conducted by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, three out of 35 executives voted the Dodgers one of the National League’s most unimproved teams. One executive said the Dodgers’ best-laid plans never quite panned out:
This is still a deep, dangerous team with massive resources, but this was one winter, another exec said, when it felt as if “nothing went the way it was supposed to.”
On the other hand, re-signing Kendrick is viewed as the best free-agent addition, despite one executive jokingly questioning where Kendrick will play:
“Not sure where he will play, but at that price, who cares?”
While it may seem like a relatively modest an unexpected offseason for the deep-pocketed Dodgers, the team’s depth is second to none, which president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts have placed an emphasis on.
Kendrick not only brings consistency on the field, as he has batted .285 or better in nine of his 10 big league seasons, but he also brings a veteran leadership to a clubhouse that has young talents in Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Corey Seager, who can benefit from mentoring.