Like at the annual trade deadline and with free agency in previous years, the Los Angeles Dodgers again are being linked to the top players who are available. In terms of this offseason, that amounts to reported interest in Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon.
Cole and Strasburg are considered the most-coveted pitchers on the free agent market — with the Dodgers’ own Hyun-Jin Ryu on their heels — and Rendon is the top position player who is not under contract.
The Dodgers’ interest in Rendon dates back to the middle of the 2019 season, and his reported willingness to accept a short-term contract could mesh well with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s vision.
While L.A. has some level of interest in Cole, Strasburg and Rendon, they are keeping with the same measured approach in a potential pursuit, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
Dodgers are looking at Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. But while they can afford to go big, word is they have set valuations for each star and intend to remain disciplined.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 25, 2019
While Friedman has been hesitant to dole out the long-term contracts marquee players have received in free agency the past few years, he simultaneously has dismissed the notion he is fully against such deals.
If the Dodgers were to extend themselves for a player, Rendon would appear to be the most likely candidate. He’s only 29 years old and would add another right-handed bat to a lineup that’s anchored by a bevy of left-handed hitters.
Cole also is 29, though pitchers historically are viewed as coming with more of an injury risk. Strasburg is 31 years old and has already undergone Tommy John surgery, but the general belief is he’s likely to re-sign with the Washington Nationals anyhow.
In addition to the aforementioned top free agents, the Dodgers reportedly have interest in Josh Donaldson as well. Whether Donaldson or Rendon, Justin Turner is said to be willing to move to first base.
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