Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Inbox: Where does LA stand on FA, trade fronts?

Beat reporter Ken Gurnick fields Dodgers fans' questions
MLB.com @kengurnick

Are the Dodgers going to do anything to convince fans that the memo to investors, at least now that it's out, isn't their blueprint and that they will spend money to get the players the team needs?
-- @leepers500

You mean like spend $400 million on Bryce Harper? Would that do the trick? I'm guessing the Dodgers are not stopping at the $25 million they gave to setup reliever Joe Kelly. I think the "blueprint" you referred to applied to another place and time. Their pursuit of Harper is sincere and aggressive. But remember: The team doesn't decide where a free agent signs. The player does. Often, the biggest offer wins. But not always, or Kenley Jansen would be with the Nationals. But the Dodgers have reset their luxury tax penalty and run off most of their long-term commitments, so they are in position to sign Harper this year and maybe even Nolan Arenado next year.

Are the Dodgers going to do anything to convince fans that the memo to investors, at least now that it's out, isn't their blueprint and that they will spend money to get the players the team needs?
-- @leepers500

You mean like spend $400 million on Bryce Harper? Would that do the trick? I'm guessing the Dodgers are not stopping at the $25 million they gave to setup reliever Joe Kelly. I think the "blueprint" you referred to applied to another place and time. Their pursuit of Harper is sincere and aggressive. But remember: The team doesn't decide where a free agent signs. The player does. Often, the biggest offer wins. But not always, or Kenley Jansen would be with the Nationals. But the Dodgers have reset their luxury tax penalty and run off most of their long-term commitments, so they are in position to sign Harper this year and maybe even Nolan Arenado next year.

Video: After blockbuster deal, will Dodgers now sign Harper?

How does releasing Homer Bailey help the Dodgers?
-- Donald F.

They never wanted Bailey, they wanted to move their three expendable veterans. The Dodgers had to eat Bailey's $28 million salary to help offset the $44 million salary Cincinnati took on in Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer. They didn't want Puig, Kemp and Wood in the clubhouse unhappy because of limited roles. The Dodgers shed $16 million in payroll and added two prospects that should help them acquire other players. You can't isolate any one part of a trade and make a judgment, especially president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman trades, which often have complex goals. This one will probably lead to more acquisitions that wouldn't have been possible if each component of the Reds' trade hadn't happened, including releasing Bailey. The Dodgers did this a few years ago with Bronson Arroyo, and Atlanta did it last year with Adrian Gonzalez.

There has been very little talk of the Dodgers being connected to any second basemen. Does this mean the plan is some sort of Chris Taylor/Enrique Hernandez/Max Muncy platoon?
-- @LordBobbyConner

If you believe what Friedman said at the Winter Meetings, correct. The Dodgers have already bought a reliever. They still need a catcher. They would love a game changer like Harper in the outfield and another right-handed bat now that Kemp and Puig are gone. They feel they have enough inexpensive components in the trio you mentioned to handle second base and marshal resources for more pressing needs.

Submit a question to the Dodgers Inbox

Now that the Mets, Braves and others have backed off of J.T. Realmuto, what are the Dodgers' chances of acquiring him?
-- @dodgerjason

Have you asked the Marlins? It's their high asking price that made the Mets, the Braves and others back off of Realmuto. The fact that the Dodgers are still in the picture while others have gone elsewhere indicates Dodgers interest, but it takes at least two teams to make a deal. The Marlins have said all along that they don't feel they must trade Realmuto, even though they've unloaded every other proven player they had. Interested clubs believe the Marlins have set a high asking price for two reasons: They can't afford to come out on the short end of a deal the way they did on the Christian Yelich trade, and they can always deal Realmuto during the season. There are veteran catchers like free agent Nick Hundley that the Dodgers can acquire short term if it comes to that.

Any chance the Dodgers sign Yasmani Grandal?
-- @joanierietkerk8

Sure, but as mentioned above, it's up to the player. This player, in particular, already turned down a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers because he seeks a multiyear payday, reportedly somewhere around five years and $75 million. He's not getting that from the Dodgers, who have four quality catching prospects in the system, led by Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz, and only need a short-term bridge. Grandal's postseason defensive meltdown aside, he's the most attractive free agent at his position this offseason. The Dodgers also are in line to pick up a compensatory Draft pick if he signs with another club, added incentive for the Dodgers not to re-sign him unless his market tanks and he becomes a bargain.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Yasmani Grandal, Joe Kelly