Yesterday marked the first day of the 2018 Winter Meetings, which means that all 30 Front Offices are in one place with the goal of making trades and signing free agents. I haven’t talked much about the Dodgers’ off-season so far, but now it’s time.
Rumor: Corey Kluber
It’s been rumored and basically confirmed, that the Indians are trying to trade their Ace, Corey Kluber. According to multiple sources, the Dodgers are one of the leaders in the Kluber sweepstakes. The Indians, it seems, want Alex Verdugo in return.
Will the Dodgers be willing to make this move? I’m not convinced. They’ve always been really protective of their prospects, especially Verdugo, their #1 ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline. Besides, starting pitching isn’t really one of their most pressing needs.
At the same time, this feels logical. Kluber is owed $17 million dollars in 2019, with club options for 2020-2021 worth $17.5 million and $18 million respectively. Although trading your top prospect is never “low risk” the money side is. If Kluber is terrible in LA, he doesn’t pitch for them in 2020. If he’s good, they pick up his option and bring him back for 2020.
Rumor: Puig Wants To Be Traded
Just like every off-season, there are trade talks surrounding Yasiel Puig. The difference this year is that he’s the one pushing to be traded. He is unhappy because he rarely played against left-handed pitching. He feels like he should be able to bat against all pitchers, not just righties. So far, I don’t think any teams have expressed interest in acquiring him, which makes sense because there is a star right-fielder on the free-agent market.
With Yasmani Grandal on the free-agent market, the Dodgers find themselves in need of a new catcher. The biggest name that has caught my eye right now is Marlins’ catcher, J.T. Realmuto. The Marlins are reportedly shopping him but they are asking for more than anyone wants to give them. If they decide to bring their asking price down, you can expect to see the Dodgers in the hunt for Realmuto.
Need: Second Base
It seems like no matter what the Dodgers do, they can’t fix their second base problem. Everything they’ve tried so far has backfired on them. The name that sticks out to me and that’s been rumored a little is DJ LeMahieu. He’s 30 years old and still hitting well. If the Dodgers can sign him to a 2-3 year deal, they’ll have him for the time that he still is playing well. Then, if he makes a good enough impression, they can sign him during his decline years as well.