Friday, December 9, 2016

Dodgers' Quiet Winter Meeting No Cause for Alarm

The 2016 MLB Winter Meetings concluded on Thursday and while a handful of teams found themselves overhauling and unloading, the Dodgers weren't among them.  The big move made by the Dodgers being the 3 year deal Rich Hill signed for $48 million but aside from that there was only speculation and rumor.  The big free agents from the Dodgers, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, have been thrown about in rumors but with Turner and Jansen in Curacao for Jansen's wedding, no progress has been made on a deal for either.  Leaving the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers find themselves in need of a second baseman, a third baseman, and a closer.  Turner is without doubt the most attractive third baseman in free agency and with Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman signing record deals for free agent relievers, Jansen now sits pretty aiming for a similar deal if not more.  Second base is currently also a mystery as Chase Utley remains unsigned and Howie Kendrick having been traded to the Phillies. While a quiet Winter Meeting from the Dodgers' front office might cause some concern among the fanbase about the team's current state, just remember that even last year's meetings were fairly uneventful for the Dodgers (with some notable differences).

2015's Winter Meetings saw the Dodgers drop many deals and only walk away with a signing of Chase Utley.  Hisashi Iwakuma was supposedly signed but the contract was turned down by the Dodgers after concerns in his physical and the Aroldis Chapman trade fell through from allegations of domestic violence that led to his suspension.  This is not to say the 2015 offseason wasn't a failure by any means for the Dodgers after they scored a very nice deal on Kenta Maeda, signed Scott Kazmir, Howie Kendrick, Joe Blanton, and also traded to acquire Trayce Thompson and Micah Johnson.  Most of those names contributed pretty significantly to the Dodgers in 2016 and all moves were made after the Winter Meetings.  While the Dodgers seemed more active last year in trying to make moves, when it was all said and done they weren't walking away with many key transactions.

Make no mistake, the Dodgers are certainly not done addressing their needs in this offseason.  With the big meetings out of the way, the front office is no doubt looking at the dust settling and which teams are ready to make a trade or which free agents are fit for the team.  Rumors have circulated that the White Sox and Dodgers have talked Todd Frazier and David Robertson and the Dodgers have also been linked to the Twins for second baseman Brian Dozier.  Losing Justin and Turner and Kenley Jansen could be big blows as both were fan favorites (especially with Kenley Jansen just coming off setting the all time save record for the Dodgers) but with a relatively weak free agent market for infielders a trade would be the best bet if the price is not right on either of them.  Expect something big in the coming months and when the New Year starts don't be surprised if it brings with it some new faces around the diamond.

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