The Los Angeles Dodgers seemingly have their manager in Dave Roberts for years to come, and a young coaching staff to pair with him, and Andrew Friedman is entrenched at the top of the front office as a president of baseball operations.
But after another playoff run stopped short of the Dodgers reaching their ultimate goal of ending the now-28 year World Series drought, the club faces significant roster questions this winter. Most notably with Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner set to hit free agency.
Barring any surprises, Los Angeles will have nine players become free agents at 6 a.m. PT the morning after the World Series concludes.
The Dodgers also have eight players — nine if Yasiel Puig is included — who are eligible for salary arbitration. Per usual, there figures to at least be some season-to-season roster turnover.
Though, Friedman believes a possibility exists of the Dodgers returning much of the same team in 2017. “There are definitely scenarios where we look pretty similar,” he said this week.
“Most often you see some changes but what that means, we don’t know yet. We have a lot of talented players that are free agents, and I expect we’ll have ongoing dialogue with essentially each and every one of them.”
Friedman expressed an interest in re-signing Jansen, who built on a strong 2016 campaign to put together a dominant postseason. But Jansen figures to be coveted by several teams, which invariably will increase his value.
Friedman has yet to sign a reliever to a significant, long-term contract. Similarly, Turner headlines a shallow class of free-agent third basemen. The Dodgers reportedly held preliminary contract negotiations with Turner.
Joe Blanton, Rich Hill, Josh Reddick and Chase Utley are other key contributors who will reach free agency.
“There are so many ways the offseason can play out. It’s hard to try to corral it at this point and have a great sense for how it’s going to play out,” Friedman said. “We’re working through a bunch of different scenarios. We’ll be prepared depending on which way it goes.”