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Dodgers: MLB Insider Says LA Still Needs One More Thing Before Opening Day

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: it seems like the Dodgers haven’t made many big moves except posting one “Thank you (enter player’s name here)” after another.

They’ve welcomed Noah Syndergaard, Shelby Miller, and J.D. Martinez to their 40-man roster, while resigning Kershaw for another year, But, they’ve also said goodbye to Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner. Then as of recently, they announced that they will be releasing Bauer from their organization which means they’ll eat a huge chunk of cash this year.



So now what? What are the Dodgers left with?

Now with Martinez added into the lineup, they will have three All-Stars most likely back to back to back in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and the former Red Sox designated hitter. But, according to an MLB insider, that’s still not enough.

In a recent MLB.com article, he name dropped the Dodgers as one of seven teams that still have some work to do before Opening Day:

“Dodgers
Biggest need(s): Another bat

To be clear, the Dodgers are still one of the top World Series contenders entering 2023 — and even remain a slight favorite in the National League West. But that gap is significantly smaller than entering previous seasons. After all, Los Angeles lost superstar shortstop Trea Turner in free agency, as well as veterans Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. Justin Turner was an All-Star as recently as 2021 and, despite turning 38 in November, still posted a 116 OPS+ in 2022. Bellinger, meanwhile, has fallen off drastically on the offensive side over the past few years, but he still provided excellent defense last season, leading to a 1.7 fWAR.

Though the Dodgers re-signed Clayton Kershaw and more recently added 35-year-old designated hitter J.D. Martinez, it’s fair to wonder if they’ve done enough to offset those losses. Per FanGraphs, the Dodgers lost 21.3 WAR from 2022 to free agency — and they’ve added only 6.9. That drop-off of 14.3 WAR is by far the most in the Majors. As it stands, Los Angeles is set to enter the season with James Outman and Trayce Thompson starting alongside Mookie Betts in the outfield, with Gavin Lux set to fill Turner’s shoes at shortstop. Though the 25-year-old Lux made strides with his bat last season, it remains to be seen whether he’s ready to be the everyday shortstop on a title-contending club.”

But I’m sure the Dodgers already know the risks they’re taking in not making any big moves right?

They’re planning to reset their tax and give some of the younger guys a chance to break into the game but like the article said, the Dodgers are still going to be a top contender in he NL West and when the playoffs come around.

So, maybe we just have to trust that it will all come together during Spring Training. What do you think Dodgers Nation? Are the Boys in Blue in more trouble than we think or will they turn out just fine this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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32 Comments

  1. There’s one big deal in front of them that’s been talked about all winter although lately is died down. I don’t know the numbers as far as salaries and the luxury tax effect but as baseball on the field I believe this deal would be enough to hold off the Padres and the Mets, the problem it’s not going to cheap. Remember the defensive shift is gone, and I feel the dodgers need another big pitcher to go along with Julio. Corbin Burns and Willy Adames would solve both those needs. Burns and Julio would be a solid one Two punch to match against any team. Adames is one of the best defensive SS in the game. And keeping Lux at second would be a better choice than SS. Although the Brewers have said that they are not going to trade either I feel with the right package they would change there minds. The big give away would be Diego Cartaya without him in the package there wouldn’t even be a discussion. So that’s a given. So along with him you must add another top infield prospect and that’s Jacob Amaya. So that’s your trade for Adames. For Burns they must give up Ryan Pepiot and either Gonsolin or May. But here’s the kicker for give up this talented crop they must take Chris Taylor remaining contract and if you find a taker Muncy they should be under the luxury tax. With Martinez as the full time DH and Vargas playing third they don’t need either. If Outman and Vargas are not ready I think they can find cheaper veteran help. Getting rid of Taylor and muncy that’s 30 million they can save for basically player’s they don’t need. I might be delusional but I think I make point. It’s fun playing GM.

  2. Outman, Vargas, Busch, Taylor and Lux are question marks…I want them all in the lineup often so bringing in a new bat before we see what we have there may be more comfortable but these guys need to play! Nothing good happens to ball players who aren’t given an opportunity.

  3. Give these kids the chance to shine. Cody failed, Trea wanted to play back east. Good luck to them. Lux is a natural SS. Muncy likes 2b. Outman needs to play. Vargas at 3B and Busch as a backup 2B with Trayce in CF, Betts in RF and Freeman at IB is how I see the IF-OF. Add JD as the DH. I hated to see Justin leave. Eathan as a closer…GO BLUE!!!!!

  4. And what is the worst that can happen???We get to see what is down on the farm, reset the luxury tax, and free up monies for our Lefty from Mexico, and some tall pitcher/DH from Japan….and if we fail???Just ask yourself the question, How far did we go last year with everybody?????

    1. Bingo. I think if we could add McCutchen on a show me deal, that would be a perfect fit. I am fine with this off season. We needed to get younger and more athletic.

      I was on the side of keeping Bauer. There was no blowback on Urias. The only difference is that Bauer is an azz wipe. But one of the young starters will step up to fill the S5 role.

      JD and Noah were great value pickups. Especially Martinez, who had his career changed after working with Van Scroyac previously.

      The biggest test is how everyone reacts to the shift ban. Muncy will benefit the most on the Dodgers. Barring serious injuries like last year, our pitching still gets us to 95 or more wins. We get to play all of the weak teams every year now. It will be weird to see normal infield set up all of the time.

  5. Everyone makes good points. Being the old person that I am, I remember when the Dodgers went with a “youth movement”. They brought up these kids named Garvey, Russell, Buckner, Valentine, Cey, Lopes, Yeager and others. It seemed to work. Hope it does again. However, at this time, the situation is a little different.

  6. The Dodgers have too many questions marks up the middle, such as center field and shortstop. If you are weak up the middle it will show up more than other positions. And they also have a question mark at third base. Justin Turner may have lost a step at third base but he was far better defensively than their current options. Vargas has never played an adequate third base in the minors, and there can be no expectation that will change in the majors. Muncy may be better defensively but he is still nowhere as good as Justin was. He has never really played the position every day. The dodgers have not had that many great third baseman in their history- they let Andre Beltre go far too soon- and now they lose another. Will be good to see what the kids can do but I think it will be a long year.

  7. Fantastic article…. Extremely well written with facts backing up her opinion. What’s the worst that can happen… None of the “kids” are ready to play and if you add some uncertainty about Lux and questions about Gonselin and May from arm injuries, this potentially could be a third of fourth place team.

    The mistake the Dodgers have made is not signing major league talent just in case the kids aren’t ready. We will see if they are right or just arrogant.

    1. Potentially third or fourth place? With Betts, Freeman, Smith, Urias, and Kershaw it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where SF, Arizona, or Colorado finishes higher.
      I get frustration and questions but let’s be realistic.

  8. Just getting Muncy back to his 2017-2021 form is the equivalent of adding another bat. I’m skeptical of Vargas, who showed little ability to hit MLB pitching in 2022, but really excited to see Outman in the lineup for at least the first half of the season. If neither of those guys can get it done, then make a move to add a bat before the trading deadline.

  9. All the Dodgers need is a solid defender short stop. Unfortunately, Lux can’t play defense. Another Bat will be great but a good short stop is the main priority.

  10. I love my dodgers! Been a fan for 50 yrs. I’m 53 years of age. Been my lifetime of enjoyment watching this team. They should’ve kept trea turner and let Justin turner retire there. I like those guys and loved watching them play. I trust the dodger organization and look forward to a great year.

  11. Yes! Love max muncy! Lux has showed me enough in the recent past to trust and believe in him.

  12. Dodgers will still win the west cause we have better pitching rotation. Julio and Gonso better 1 and 2 punch than padres or the Mets oldies. Plus healthy Kershaw and May and Noah and pepiot filling as fifth starters Dodgers are in great hands. Only problem we have is roberts and friedman making dum moves in post season.

  13. Glen,
    How is a different situation? Those guys from the past were young and ready and were given the chance to play and did pretty good and now we have a few young guys ready to move up and the only way we’re going to find out if they’re ready is by letting them prove themselves so, let them play. They deserve it. Why keep spending millions on older guys?

  14. One thing is for certain is that Dodgers players are in high demand by other teams because they have proven their abilities and worth. So, these guys get very good contract offers and it is hard for them to say no, and they leave, can’t blame them really. LA still has a good team but probably not dominant like the 2022 squad. It is time for the next wave of rookies to come in and prove their worth, just like Seager, Smith, Bellinger, Pederson and others have done. One rookie I hated to see get released was Edwin Rios as I thought he had a ton of power hitting potential.

  15. If Muncy and Taylor can return to peak form, they should be good. If not they might be in trouble. Of course last year I feared they wouldn’t have enough pitching. And they won how many games? Guess it shows what I know.

  16. Taylor in CF, Munxy @ 2B, Lux @ SS, Outman in LF, Betts in RF, Vargas @3B, JD as DH… Thompson as the backup OF/PH…. Busch as backup 2B… Urias, Kershaw, Gonsolin pitching!!!

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