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After Series, Dodgers' focus now on free agents

Club expected to seek pitching, right-handed-hitting outfielder
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- When you miss a World Series title by one victory, you're not thinking overhaul. The Dodgers proved they have a Fall Classic roster, so offseason maneuvers figure to be targeted and minimal, with the usual search for pitching and a right-handed outfield bat.

Free agents: Yu Darvish, Curtis Granderson, Franklin Gutierrez, Andre Ethier (Dodgers declined $17.5M club option, paid $2.5M buyout), Brandon Morrow, Chase Utley, Tony Watson.

LOS ANGELES -- When you miss a World Series title by one victory, you're not thinking overhaul. The Dodgers proved they have a Fall Classic roster, so offseason maneuvers figure to be targeted and minimal, with the usual search for pitching and a right-handed outfield bat.

Free agents: Yu Darvish, Curtis Granderson, Franklin Gutierrez, Andre Ethier (Dodgers declined $17.5M club option, paid $2.5M buyout), Brandon Morrow, Chase Utley, Tony Watson.

Note: The Dodgers exercised the $8.5M option on Logan Forsythe.

Arbitration-eligible: Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia, Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood.

Video: WS2017 Gm7: Yu Darvish on impending free agency

• 3 offseason questions for Dodgers to answer

Biggest potential free-agent loss: In the non-player category, it would be pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who might prefer to transition to a consultant role. From the active roster, the 33-year-old Morrow is the player who would be missed most. After four years of injuries, he was plucked from the scrap heap and reinvented himself as the elusive setup bridge to Kenley Jansen. He then turned into a record-breaking workhorse in the World Series, with a fastball somehow averaging 3 mph more than a year ago. He'll expect to be financially rewarded for that, and this Dodgers regime will probably look for a more affordable replacement for the role.

Potential free-agent targets: The way J.D. Martinez went off once he entered the National League West he will automatically be linked to the wealthy Dodgers, but paying top dollar is not the style of this regime. Lorenzo Cain has often been linked to the Dodgers, and this might finally be the time, although he won't come cheaply. Then again, the front office tends to take the road less traveled, so after digging through the analytics a right-handed lefty killer is bound to be found as an alternative to Hernandez.

Video: KC@CWS: Cain launches a solo homer to left field

Wild card scenario: Fans will clamor to bypass a thin free-agent outfielder market and trade for Giancarlo Stanton, concerned not in the least with the $295 million owed to him through age 38, his opt-out after 2020 or the package of talent the Marlins will extract in return. All of that runs counter to everything this management team has done in three years. Of course, there's always Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani. For the Dodgers to land him, they will need to jump through more hoops than can be listed here. But they sent president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and a boatload of experts to watch Ohtani throw bullpens during the season, so he's on the radar.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers