The Los Angeles Dodgers have essentially gone the entire offseason in need of a third baseman and right-handed bat, which was identified as a focal point by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
So too was the bullpen, but that has more than been addressed. The Dodgers traded for Corey Knebel, re-signed Blake Treinen, and reunited with Brandon Morrow and Brock Stewart on Minor League contracts.
Jimmy Nelson also was re-signed to a Minor League deal, and L.A. inked Tommy Kahnle but he may not pitch until 2022.
As negotiations with Turner are presumed to be ongoing, the Dodgers have continued to work on the margins of their roster. They traded Adam Kolarek and Cody Thomas to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Sheldon Neuse and Gus Varland.
L.A. acquired Kolarek from the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline during the 2019 season. He primarily was a lefty specialist at the time but was forced to evolve due to MLB implementing a three-batter rule last season.
The Dodgers still were cautious about using Kolarek against a significant run of right-handed batters, and he pitched to a 0.95 ERA in 21 appearances last season.
Thomas was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He reached Double-A Tulsa in 2019, and last year earned praise from Friedman and Dodgers farm director Will Rhymes.
Neuse was taken by the Washington Nationals with the No. 58 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, but was packaged along with Blake Treinen and Jesús Luzardo to the Athletics for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson in 2017.
Neuse went on to make his MLB debut in 2019 with the A’s. He appeared in 25 games and spent time at second base and third base.
Those of course are positions where the Dodgers have question marks, but Neuse doesn’t figure to slot in as a starter for either. He nonetheless provides some versatility and a right-handed bat off the bench.
Varland is entering a third professional season since being taken by the Athletics in the 14th round of the 2018 Draft. He’s 2-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 18 games (15 starts) thus far in his young career.
Dodgers roster would still need corresponding move for Turner
Kolarek was on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, but that also applied to Neuse with the A’s. Therefore the Dodgers would still need to make a corresponding move in order to re-sign Turner.
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