After losing to St. Louis in the playoffs in 2014, the Dodgers new front office looked to overhaul the roster and make it a team better prepared for the both the postseason, and moving forward into the future. After another playoff exit, I suspect we will be in for another off season full of changes.
Zack Greinke has already opted out of his contract, becoming a free agent. Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, and Brett Anderson are free agents who may not be back. There are obvious questions about the health of Puig and Grandal, about the effectiveness of outfielders, and then there’s the bullpen, which never really got it together. Throw in some questions about whether Mattingly will be back, and this could look quite different come April 2016.
As far as what I think they should do, I’m only a fan but a few thoughts:
1. Sign Greinke back if at all possible. (Price would be a nice replacement, but I like Greinke better.)
2. Hope like hell that Ryu can pitch in 2016, giving the Dodgers a legit 3rd starter to go with Kershaw and Grienke. Hope the same for McCarthy as the 4th starter. Short of that, they need to improve the rotation beyond the top two.
3. Let Seager be the every day SS, Turner the every day 3B. Let Rollins walk. If Kendrick can’t be signed back, let a competition play out between Utley, one of the youngsters, or possibly someone brought in as a FA/trade. Though I suspect Utley should not be starting every day.
4. Can we get anything for Carl Crawford? Anything? Will the team hope that the young outfields take the job away from him by being more consistent than they were this season, and will Puig ever be Puig again?
5. Figure out the 7th and 8th innings with the bullpen. Hatcher seems like a good possibility, but everything else this team tried this season was a disaster.
I suspect the bullpen and outfield will look very different than it did to start 2015. The team needs to create more runs. It needs to shutdown teams late in games. It needs better health. It was a good season, but did not live up to expectations, again. There will be turnover, and we all know the front office isn’t afraid to make changes, and what they come up with will probably look nothing like what I describe above. It should be another interesting winter in LA.