Sarah's Take: Dodgers have work to do
Chapman and Iwakuma deals falling through leaves club with several holes to fill
In my 14 years as a baseball writer, I have not seen any team who had more incomplete deals than the Los Angeles Dodgers have had this offseason.
On Thursday, it was announced that the Dodgers won't sign Hisashi Iwakuma after seeing the results of his physical exam. That put Iwakuma back on the free-agent market, and by the end of the day he had signed with the Seattle Mariners.
The Dodgers barely lost out on re-signing Zack Greinke when the D-backs outbid them at the last minute. Greinke would have been an integral part of the Dodgers for many years to come. Since he joined the club in 2013, the Dodgers have won an unprecedented three division titles. Watching Clayton Kershaw and Greinke was special. If the Dodgers ever went to the World Series with those two, they would have had an excellent chance of winning another title. Now, they can just think of what it might have been.
On the first day of the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers appeared to have traded for Aroldis Chapman, but that deal fell through when it became public that Chapman is under investigation for an alleged domestic violence incident.
This past Tuesday, the Dodgers were involved in a three-team trade to obtain three highly-regarded Minor League prospects. These prospects may help the Dodgers soon, but no one will know for sure until they play on an everyday basis in the Major Leagues.
Unlike many baseball organizations, the Dodgers can't say they are having a rebuilding year. Their fans expect a highly competitive team every season, and they don't care how much it costs to have one.
Some in the media believe the Dodgers will use their new prospects to obtain a top-tier starter. Although this might be true, it is a risk, since the trading partner might not think the Dodgers have good enough prospects to give them what they desire.
Other than acquiring two more starters and relievers, the Dodgers need a quality second baseman with fantastic offensive skills, and possibly a third baseman. Kiké Hernandez, who is recovering from minor shoulder surgery, could be an excellent everyday second baseman, but he can also play everywhere. Therefore, limiting him to second base probably damages the Dodgers, especially since center fielder Joc Pederson hasn't demonstrated the ability to hit Major League pitching consistently. The Dodgers should go after Daniel Murphy, unless they want to re-sign Howie Kendrick, who wants a long-term contract and whose history of hamstring injuries is deterring teams from giving him what he wants. Both could satisfy the Dodgers' need for a second baseman.
Since Justin Turner has done well in a Dodger uniform, it is difficult to believe the Dodgers need another third baseman, but they do. During the National League Division Series, Turner suffered a knee injury. Although he continued to play, he had surgery immediately after the Dodgers were finished in the postseason.