Freeman's the big prize, but Dodgers also have eyes on rotation help

March 14th, 2022

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nearly a dozen players, including Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Blake Treinen, showed up for a voluntary workout at Camelback Ranch on Saturday. The Dodgers are hoping to have a few new faces in the mix when they take the field for their first full workout on Monday.

Manager Dave Roberts said on Friday that he expects some additions to the roster. How many additions is still to be determined, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Brandon Gomes won’t be shy in trying to improve a team that won 106 regular-season games in 2021 but ultimately fell six handshake lines away from their ultimate goal of winning back-to-back World Series.

The big splash would be adding five-time All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman to the lineup. At the beginning of the offseason, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Freeman would return to the Braves, effectively helping him end his career wearing one uniform. But the longer Freeman has stayed on the market, the more the Dodgers believe they have a chance to steal him away from the team that eliminated them from the postseason.

Los Angeles had one of the best lineups in 2021. Adding Freeman would give them an embarrassment of riches, potentially having a top of the order that would feature Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freeman.

“I would love to see Freddie Freeman in a Dodger uniform. Who wouldn’t?” Roberts said. “He’s a heck of a ballplayer. He’s put himself in a situation to be a free agent. He’s earned that right and the opportunity to be courted by other teams and to see what’s best for him and his family. Certainly in the conversation for us, but ultimately it’s gonna be his decision.”

Max Muncy, who tore the UCL in his left elbow last October, echoed Roberts. Muncy is still not at 100%, but he said he should be ready for Opening Day. Luckily for the Dodgers, he has experience at second base, which would be the ideal situation if Freeman decides to join him in Los Angeles.

It’s impossible to field ground balls at first base during batting practice, but Muncy took grounders at second base during Saturday’s workout.

“I think he would be pretty incredible in this lineup,” Muncy said about Freeman. “He’s one of the best hitters in the game, there’s no doubt. … Any team would be happy to have him, especially us. He would fit in this lineup really well, and we would be extremely dangerous, that’s for sure.”

While Freeman is the primary target for the Dodgers, the club has been active in free agency and trade talks.

The Dodgers, of course, will continue to wait for Freeman’s decision, but they still have other holes to address, primarily in the starting rotation.

Despite signing Andrew Heaney and agreeing to terms with Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers have some work to do in a rotation that will be headlined by Walker Buehler and Julio Urías on Opening Day. But with most of the top starting pitchers already off the board, the Dodgers are more likely to address the rotation via trade.

With Spring Training games set to start in less than a week, the market will move quickly. As usual, Friedman and the Dodgers are right in the thick of it.