Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has made it clear on multiple occasions that the team’s needs this offseason are a right-handed bat and relief pitching.
And until Justin Turner makes his decision in free agency, the former likely will not be addressed. Friedman has already begun getting to work on the bullpen though, acquiring Corey Knebel in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers and signing familiar faces Brandon Morrow, Jimmy Nelson and Brock Stewart to Minor League contracts.
Those were all under-the-radar moves that could end up proving key or may be nothing at all depending on how those players perform. With Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez and Alex Wood all hitting free agency, it seems that there are still moves to be made to bolster the bullpen.
According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, another free-agent reliever the Dodgers are showing interest in is Ryne Stanek:
The Dodgers have shown interest in free agent reliever Ryne Stanek. The Marlins non-tendered Stanek two weeks ago. He throws hard but has struggled with command. One notable connection: Andrew Friedman drafted Stanek in the 1st round in 2013 with the Rays.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 17, 2020
As Castillo alluded to, there is some familiarity there as Friedman drafted Stanek in the first round when he was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Stanek had a breakout season with the Rays in 2018, pitching to a 2.98 ERA, 3.55 FIP and 1.09 WHIP with 81 strikeouts and 27 walks in 66.1 innings across 59 games.
The right-hander was traded to the Miami Marlins at the deadline in 2019 and struggled over parts of two seasons with them. In 31 total appearances with the Marlins, Stanek yielded a 6.03 ERA, 6.21 FIP and 1.76 WHIP with 39 strikeouts and 27 walks in 31.1 innings, while led to him being non-tendered this offseason.
Control has been an issue for the hard-throwing righty, but he has proven to be a successful reliever in the past. Under Friedman the Dodgers have history of succeeding with reclamation projects.
Dodgers also showing interest in Hendriks
While Stanek would be another under-the-radar signing if the Dodgers were able to bring him in, L.A. has also been linked to some of the bigger names on the free-agent market such as Liam Hendriks.
Hendriks has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball the past two seasons. There are plenty of other options out there too though, so it would be uncharacteristic of Friedman to overpay for the best reliever available.
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