Time And Viable Options Remain For The Dodgers To Upgrade Roster
Time And Viable Options Remain For The Dodgers To Upgrade Roster
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Meetings came and went without the Los Angeles Dodgers making the headlines many expected them to.

There were several rumors surrounding the club, but the only official announcement during the week was the re-signing of infielder Chase Utley to a one-year contract.

Just because the Dodgers were idle doesn’t mean they won’t make moves in the weeks to come. There’s still plenty of time left in the offseason.

They’ve unofficially agreed to a three-year deal with Hisashi Iwakuma to help shore up the starting rotation, but another addition is undoubtedly needed with the departure of ace Zack Greinke.

After failing to acquire Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for understandable reasons, Los Angeles must turn elsewhere to improve their inconsistent bullpen.

As for the offense, there are still power hitters available via free agency, not to mention multiple trade possibilities as well.

Let’s take a look at some options for the Dodgers as they look to revamp their roster over the incoming weeks.

Starting Pitching

Jose Fernandez: As the Miami Marlins field calls on their 23-year-old ace, a trade appears highly unlikely due to their huge asking price.

They reportedly asked the Dodgers for Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and two others in a deal, so unless the cost comes down significantly, the Dodgers won’t be acquiring the Cuban phenom.

Johnny Cueto: The former Reds and Kansas City Royals ace is the best remaining starter on the free agent market. While the Dodgers initially didn’t plan on pursuing Cueto, they reportedly have shifted their attention to signing him.

Should Cueto prove to be completely healthy, he’ll be in line for a hefty payday.

Secondary Choices: Modest pitchers such as Wei-Yin Chen and Mike Leake remain available, but both don’t carry the same talent as the two options mentioned above. If the Dodgers prefer cheaper alternatives, Chen and Leake fit as middle-of-the-rotation options.

Other Trades: There are many teams looking for offense with a surplus of pitching. The Cleveland Indians for example, could deal from their stash in exchange for a bat.

The Dodgers have enough outfield depth where they could potentially match up in a trade, so it’s something to keep an eye on.


Re-visit Chapman Trade: The Dodgers had a deal in place on Monday to acquire the Reds closer, but plans went awry when domestic violence allegations against him became public before the trade could get finalized.

From a baseball perspective, the cost to acquire such an elite talent will never be lower, but the potential backlash from public relations would be brutal. Especially with Yasiel Puig currently in a similar situation.

Andrew Miller: He isn’t a free agent, but the New York Yankees are listening to offers for their valuable lefty. The Dodgers passed on signing him last offseason, so it’s hard to imagine they’ll give up quality prospects to acquire Miller just one year later.

Jake McGee: The talented Tampa Bay Rays closer is reportedly available in a trade and would fit in nicely with the Dodgers.

Given the familiarity between both organizations, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman worked out a deal with his former co-workers.


Jason Heyward: Arguably the best positional player left in free agency, Heyward certainly would have been a nice addition for the Dodgers. Reports on Friday have him agreeing to a contract with the Chicago Cubs.

Infield Options: Players such as Chris Davis, Ian Desmond, Howie Kendrick, and Daniel Murphy are still on the market and all will command at least four years each.

While the aforementioned players are vastly talented, it doesn’t seem wise to commit long-term to any of them with Kiké Hernandez, Jose Peraza and Utley all capable of handling second base in 2016, and Adrian Gonzalez still entrenched at first base for the next three seasons.

Other Outfield Options: High-profile names like Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon and Justin Upton are still out there and all of them make sense for Los Angeles — to a certain degree.

Gordon is the game’s best defensive left fielder with serious pop, but he’s on the wrong side of 30 and likely seeks a long-term contract. Cespedes and Upton, both younger, project better offensively but are significantly weaker on the defensive side.

For any of these players to be seriously considered, the Dodgers would have to trade at least one of their current outfielders.