Now that I’m not swimming quite so deep in my school work, I can write again. Since Sunday morning, one big thing has happened. The Dodgers lost the World Series for the second straight year. They lost 5-1 in a lousy game 5.
After three nights with no Dodger baseball, it still stings. But there comes a point where you must move on from the World Series and begin thinking about next year. For the Dodger Front Office, this means they have plenty of roster work to do.
With the off-season ahead of us there are a few questions Dodger fans would like answered.
Who Can Leave?
- Manny Machado
- Yasmani Grandal
- Hyun-Jin Ryu
- Brian Dozier
- John Axford
- Ryan Madson
- Daniel Hudson
- Possibly Clayton Kershaw
Who Might Be Re-Signed?
- With Corey Seager expected to return to action when Spring Training starts, it is not likely that the Dodgers will re-sign Machado. Besides, Machado created more problems than the Dodgers wanted this postseason. It seems unlikely that the Dodgers will sign two every-day shortstops and Machado will fare well in free-agency elsewhere.
- Ryu pitched extremely well, despite battling a groin injury this May. His 7-3 record and 1.97 ERA this year endeared him to Dodger fans, who, for the last three years, thought his career was over. The question now is whether or not the front office views him in the same way.
- If Kershaw decides to opt-out of his contract, the Dodgers will likely give him a qualifying offer and try to re-sign him. Kershaw is guaranteed 32M for 2019 and 33M for 2020. With the way his velocity and stats have dropped, it seems better for him to ride his contract through.
What About Catcher?
Cather has been a problem for the Dodgers most of the year. Grandal started off hot, then slumped and was horrendous this postseason. His defense on balls in the dirt has been terrible as well. When you add to this that he’s a free agent this year, it appears that we will not see him in a Dodger uniform again. His backup, Austin Barnes didn’t hit a lick all year.
All this time, the Dodgers have had MLB’s 5th ranked prospect, Will Smith, developing as a ballplayer in Triple-A. He hit 20 home runs this year and drove in 56 with the OKC Dodgers. Another option as backstop would be Kyle Farmer. It doesn’t make sense why he isn’t on the Big League roster when all he ever does is come up with clutch game-winning hits.
How Can The Bullpen Be Improved?
Let’s face it. The Dodger bullpen is not good. In the World Series, with the exception of Kershaw’s starts, the starting pitchers were fantastic but the bullpen couldn’t get the job done. The Dodgers threw together a bullpen full of a bunch of no-name players for 2018 and it bit them.
One of the best options here is free agency. With Pedro Báez returning for 2019, the Dodgers don’t need too many new faces. Here are three of the top free agent pitchers Craig Kimbrel, Cody Allen, and Zach Britton. If the Dodgers sign even one of them, they’ll have a much better bullpen.
How Will They Fix The Second Base Problem?
Second base has been a struggle for the Dodgers since they traded away Dee Gordon. They had a handful of men filling the role the beginning of 2015 before they traded for Chase Utley. Then they “improved” second base by trading for Logan Forsythe. If you’ll remember, Forsythe couldn’t hit to save his life. At the trade deadline this year, they traded for Brian Dozier. He also hasn’t hit as advertised.
Honestly, I don’t have an answer to this question.