Heading into the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers main focus figured to be on addressing their starting rotation and Zack Greinke’s expected free agency.
Don Mattingly and the Dodgers mutually agreeing to part ways momentarily, though after a four-week search Los Angeles filled the vacancy by hiring Dave Roberts.
As for Greinke, he opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million remaining on his contract and is one of several starting pitchers still available.
The market has moved slowly thus far, with Jordan Zimmermann agreeing to a five-year, $110 million contract with the Detroit Tigers the most notable signing.
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Dodgers are actively seeking to upgrade their bullpen:
#MLB teams that are actively seeking relief pitching: ARI, ATL, BOS, DET, HOU, KC, LAD, NYM, OAK, PIT, TOR and WASH.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 29, 2015
Most recently the Los Angeles reportedly contacted Ryan Madson, who spent last season with the Kansas City Royals.
Madson returned to the Majors after last pitching with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011. It was also reported the Dodgers had interest in Tampa Bay Rays relief pitchers Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee.
Inconsistency has been the Achilles heel for the Dodgers bullpen over the last two seasons. That being said, the bullpen performed better than widely perceived.
Collectively, relievers combined to rank fifth overall in strikeouts and walks. Moreover, the bullpen’s 3.43 FIP was fifth-best and 4.5 WAR was eighth-best. Where the Dodgers tended to struggle was in getting Kenley Jansen the ball with a lead.
Chris Hatcher emerged late in the year, but only after struggling for much of the season and spending a considerable amount on the disabled list due to an oblique injury.
The Dodgers were said to have been considering Aroldis Chapman and other closers, though how that would work with Jansen still in the fold is unclear.