With the annual MLB Winter Meetings beginning Monday, the free-agent market has begun to pick up as Will Smith, Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas and Zack Wheeler represent notable players who already have signed new contracts
One team that is expected to be active that hasn’t to this point is the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they can use a right-handed bat, starting pitcher and perhaps some bullpen help.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been hesitant to spend big on relievers in the past, although he did sign Kenley Jansen to a five-year contract in 2017 and Joe Kelly to a three-year pact last offseason.
Considering the amount of money the Dodgers have committed to those two relievers, it is hard to see them signing another big-name this offseason. Friedman typically makes a handful of under-the-radar signings to piece his bullpen together, and that can be expected again this winter.
One name to keep an eye on is Josh Lindblom, who was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the second round in 2008. Lindblom made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2011, but his career has really taken off playing in Korea the last three seasons and now he is planning on coming back to MLB.
If the Dodgers want to add Lindblom to their pitching staff, they may need to act quick as he is expected to sign this week, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Free-agent right-hander Josh Lindblom, who spent the past two seasons excelling in the Korea Baseball Organization, plans to attend the Winter Meetings and pick a major-league team by the time the meetings conclude on Dec. 12, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking.
Lindblom was actually a starter the last three seasons in Korea despite only starting in six of his 114 big league appearances. He benefitted from changing up his pitch usage, adding a splitter and cutter to his arsenal.
The results have been great as in 2018 he went 15-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 157 strikeouts and 38 walks in 168.2 innings across 26 starts as a member of the Doosan Bears. He then followed that up with an even better season in 2019, going 20-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 189 strikeouts and 29 walks in 194.2 innings across 30 starts.
It is unclear whether Lindblom wants to continue starting back in MLB, but the Dodgers are more likely to have interest in him as a reliever if he goes that route. His versatility and ability to do both though should make him even more attractive to L.A.