As the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants have heavily participated in the arms race this offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers have unexpectedly fallen behind.
They were spurned by Zack Greinke, saw Johhny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija sign with the Giants, and had two deals come undone.
The first was a trade for Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, which was put on the back burner as a report surfaced of Chapman’s involvement in an alleged domestic violence incident.
Most recently, the Dodgers’ three-year, $45 million agreement with free agent Hisashi Iwakuma fell apart as the right-hander failed a physical.
Iwakuma didn’t remain on the open market for long as he quickly agreed to re-sign with the Seattle Mariners. Despite the Dodgers’ frustrations and troubles, manager Dave Roberts has been impressed by the front office and remains confident moving forward, according to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
“I think it’s impressive for the group not to be reactionary,” Roberts said. “Obviously, there’s a push to do something right now. … It’s not that we’re just sitting on our hands. The guys are working hard to better our club. But we don’t believe we have to force something. There’s plenty of time between now and Opening Day, and I think that it’s been kind of proven that just because you win the offseason doesn’t mean you win the postseason. There’s really no correlation. Again, I like our core, and there’s definitely some work to be done that I’m sure the guys are prepared to do.”
The Dodgers found themselves in a similar position last year when the San Diego Padres stole headlines with one splashy move after another under first-year general A.J. Preller.
San Diego fired manager Bud Black in June with a 32-33 record at the time and sitting in third place in the National League West. The Padres finished 74-88, fourth place in the division, and 18 games back of the Dodgers.
As Los Angeles continues to search for starting pitching, they’ve been linked to trade talks with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays, and reportedly have interest in Scott Kazmir and Mike Leake.
The Dodgers are also said to still be discussing a trade with the Miami Marlins for Jose Fernandez. The Dodgers’ rotation next season currently projects to consist of Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood and Mike Bolsinger or Carlos Frias.
Ryu is recovering from a May surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Ryu said recently he expects to recover in time to participate in Spring Training.