With a manager now in place, the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to shift their full focus on matters pertaining to their roster.
They currently have needs in the starting rotation and at second base, and would stand to benefit from adding to the bullpen.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman openly stated acquiring pitching would be a focal point over the offseason, though didn’t specify how the club would go about accomplishing as much.
Los Angeles reportedly has Zack Greinke as their top target, and they’ve been linked to free-agent reliever Darren O’Day, and Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Dodgers’ biggest competition to sign Greinke was recently reported to be the rival San Francisco Giants. His list of suitors is also believed to include the Chicago Cubs, among others.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the 32-year-old Greinke is seeking a contract that will pay him $30 million annually, and the Dodgers are interested in addressing other areas of their roster:
The Dodgers appear to have made their top target their own star starter Zack Greinke, who is believed to be in the market for a $30 million-a-year deal, and word is out they are also determined to upgrade their so-so bullpen and interested in adding a hitter, as well.
For comparison’s sake, Clayton Kershaw, who will turn 28 in March, earned $30 million last season — the second year of his seven-year, $215 million extension signed in January 2014.
Kershaw’s contract calls for him to make $32 million next season, $33 million in 2017 and 2018, $32 million in 2019 and $33 million in 2020. However, he can opt out of the deal following the 2018 season.
Greinke is coming off a career-best year in which he went 19-3 and led the Majors in ERA (1.66), ERA+ (225) and WHIP (0.84). If not for Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta’s historic second half, Greinke would’ve won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award.
Greinke did however take home a second consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove and was named the NL Most Outstanding Pitcher by his peers. He’s viewed by some, including Rick Honeycutt, as being the exception to the rule of not doling out a long-term contract to pitcher of his age.
Acquiring a hitter may be more difficult for the Dodgers given their glut of outfielders, and being set at first and third base with Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner, respectively, and at catcher with Yasmani Grandal.
That being said, Los Angeles reportedly is among the teams interested in Korean third baseman Jae-gyun Hwang, who is expected to be posted by the Lotte Giants.