What’s next for the Dodgers?
My last post was part of my column that was published today and this is another perspective on the same situation. You can read my original column from Today’s Knuckleball by clicking HERE. *(it will be available at 6pm PT time, sorry!)
So to continue, as you know (if you read my previous post or if you have seen the news) Seattle Mariners’ GM Jerry Dipoto came out of nowhere and swept starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma right out from under the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Does it have an effect on the teams’ 2016 outlook? Absolutely. Things certainly look worse and they were not looking that great before. According to MLB Network the fans are not at all happy. First the Dodgers walk away from superstar starting pitcher Zack Greinke over one year on the contract, now they’ve lost Iwakuma. The only pitcher they have at this moment that they know they can count on is Clayton Kershaw.
The team made a couple bad pitching investments last season in the oft-injured Brett Anderson (who will be returning, although I have no idea why they even made him an offer?!) after accepting his one-year qualifying offer and Brandon McCarthy, who was soon out with Tommy John surgery and won’t be returning until at least mid-season.
Those bad investments now leave the Dodgers with Clayton Kershaw, the unreliable Brett Anderson, a pretty solid number three or four starter in Alex Wood and the hope that Hyun-jin Ryu will be back and healthy this season. It’s a far cry from having Kershaw, Greinke and a healthy Ryu as their top three starters.
There are rumors however that the Dodgers have been stockpiling prospects in what is assumed to be an attempt to lure the Miami Marlins to trade their young ace Jose Fernandez. Yet, the only indication from the Marlins’ camp is that they may be listening, they certainly are not shopping him right now. Overall from what I’ve gathered he is more than likely not available.
Still, the Dodgers could use the prospects they’ve collected to go after someone else. It’s very unlikely the Dodgers even thought about the possibility of Dipoto using that small window of opportunity to steal Iwakuma away from them. It is possible however that the Dodgers have another plan already in place. They may have been picking up prospects for some other reason. One that might not even involve Fernandez.
In baseball anything can happen – like Iwakuma becoming a Mariner again overnight – so I wouldn’t count the Dodgers out just yet but I also wouldn’t count on them getting Fernandez. It appears right now that their opportunities are slipping away. This is especially significant because the Dodgers are a “win-now” team with the biggest payroll in the league.
They’ve failed in the playoffs the last few years with Greinke and Kershaw, so it should be worrisome to the fans and definitely to the front office that they lost out on Iwakuma. Even though there are still quite a few second-tier free agent pitchers out on the free agent market, the Dodgers are looking to replace Greinke which is not exactly possible, unless they could find a Kershaw clone and convince the Cubs to give them Jake Arrieta! They are the only two that can really rival Greinke in the pitching department. The Dodgers need to take a page out of Dipoto’s book and learn to move a little more quickly.