MLB.com’s Dodgers beat reporter Ken Gurnick fields fans’ questions:
Will finally winning the World Series change any investment levels? Obviously, they're already locked into Mookie for a long time, but surely the previous level of urgency has changed, right? What's the next step? I realize these are kinda big-ticket questions, haha.
-- clayowulf (@ClayLaSoul)
I think a pandemic, the prospect of two seasons without ticket sales and a worldwide recession will change investment levels throughout baseball, as in most industries. That goes for the Dodgers and most every team in sports (unless they were just bought by a billionaire hedge-fund manager -- the Mets). The financial losses this year -- and the layoffs throughout the sport -- are real, especially for the Dodgers, who were unable to sell nearly 4 million tickets this year. Live-event entertainment is ground zero -- and anybody expecting a “normal” offseason is being unrealistic.
Is second base Gavin Lux’s position to lose in 2021?
-- Jason (@RabbitohJag)
It’s more like Lux’s to win, not to lose. He’s already lost it twice. Assuming he’s not traded, he needs to re-establish his credentials, demonstrate consistency that he’s a big league hitter and that the defensive yips that have haunted him are gone. He’s clearly a gifted talent. So were rookies Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, but they performed at a high level immediately. With winning expectations, the Dodgers don’t have the patience of losing while a young player learns to be a big leaguer. So far, the stage has been too big for Lux. Backup plan? How about Chris Taylor, the starting second baseman in the World Series?
What changes and differences can we expect from the bullpen next season?
-- serg (@dodgerserg)
If you think the Dodgers had a bad bullpen this year, you’re lucky you weren’t rooting for most of the other 29 teams. In fact, the Dodgers bullpen was the only one that won a World Series. Is it perfect? No. Is Kenley Jansen the dominator at age 33 he was at 28 and 29? No. Did that stop the Dodgers from being the best team in baseball? No. As for the role of closer, it’s changing. Dodgers management would much prefer to finish games by matchups and not be restricted when roles are defined by inning. Brusdar Graterol is intriguing, but just because he throws 100 mph doesn’t mean he can get left-handed batters out. They hit .360 against him. So the Dodgers will probably add one or two relievers as they do every winter, seeking varieties of deliveries and pitch mixes instead of a parade of hard-throwing right-handed clones, often with reclamation projects instead of multiple-year deals for a marquee name like Joe Kelly. Seeking perfection from a bullpen is a noble aim that will always leave you wanting more.
And, finally ...
What type of moves do you think the #Dodgers can make to impr... who cares?! THEY FINALLY WON IT ALL AGAIN!! Five-year grace period.
-- Matthew Zimmerman (@Zimmsy)