Dodgers head home with roster questions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Maybe Dodgers management really believes its roster is championship caliber. Maybe last offseason's flurry of deals that didn't deliver a championship served instructive.
The Dodgers departed the Winter Meetings on Thursday having faded into the background, if only temporarily. They announced the re-signing of veteran infielder Chase Utley, are about to announce the signing of free-agent starter Hisashi Iwakuma -- and that's about it.
They nearly pulled off a trade for Aroldis Chapman that would have presented an intriguing late-inning scenario with Kenley Jansen. But a domestic violence investigation has at least delayed the deal, if not voided it.
The trade market for quality pitching escalated to the point that demands started with top prospects Corey Seager and Julio Urias. So far, management has held on to them.
The Dodgers still need another starter to help repair the damage caused by Zack Greinke's departure. Once fallback options of Jordan Zimmermann and David Price were already gone, Greinke's leverage increased dramatically. That's not how the Dodgers played it and off he went to aspiring rival Arizona.
Kenta Maeda's posting presents a new option on the market, although there are indications the Dodgers don't value the Japanese right-hander enough to bid aggressively.
In fact, after being rumored as pursuers of pitchers Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez and Andrew Miller, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman hinted that the Dodgers could turn instead to adding a bat.
The Dodgers re-signed Utley and claimed Daniel Fields and Danny Reynolds off waivers from the Brewers and Angels, respectively.
Rule 5 Draft activity
After not making a selection in the Major League phase, the Dodgers selected right-hander Felipe Gonzalez from Miami, catcher Micah Gibbs from Kansas City, right-hander Logan Bawcom from Seattle, outfielder Julio Morban from Seattle and left-hander Alexander Burgos from Miami in the Triple-A phase. (Bawcom was traded by the Dodgers to the Mariners for Brandon League in 2013).
The Dodgers brought back Utley to vie for the starting second-base job and provide depth at the infield corners. The club also picked up some of the innings lost with Greinke's departure by agreeing to a three-year, $45 million contract with Iwakuma, pending passing of a physical exam.
As the Dodgers returned home, the Iwakuma deal was yet to be announced and the move to acquire Chapman was shelved while MLB investigates domestic violence allegations. The club still needs another starter, reliever, possibly an impact bat in the outfield and the announcement of Dave Roberts' coaching staff.
"The big picture is not complete yet." -- CEO Stan Kasten