The second day of the 2016 winter meetings wasn’t quite as eventful for the Dodgers as Day 1, at least not yet. The team continues to play the waiting game with free agents Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, plus other alternatives at both positions, plus second base and more.
The Dodgers would obviously like to retain both Turner and Jansen, with varying markets for both.
Jansen seems to be the hotter commodity at the moment. The Marlins, with old friends Don Mattingly and Tim Wallach in place in Miami, are reported prepared to offer Jansen $80 million over five years and give up the No. 14 pick in the 2017 draft, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The Yankees, meanwhile, reportedly have offers out to both Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, per Ken Davidoff and George King of the New York Post.
The Dodgers had Wade Davis as a fallback trade option, with one year and $10 million remaining on his contract with the Royals. Andy McCullough of the LA Times reported the interest on Monday, and the Dodgers were interested in July as well.
But Davis might not be a fallback option much longer. The Cubs were said to be “closing in” on a deal for the closer per Buster Olney of ESPN, but as his colleague Jayson Stark pointed out, the Nationals tried to swoop in. It appears Chicago will get their man in a Davis for Jorge Soler swap, per Rosenthal.
Either one of those teams could be a competitor for Jansen if they lose out on Davis.
Turner, meanwhile, could face a smaller market than expected. We took a look at this last month in exploring his free agency and figured the Giants as the biggest competition. Since then, the Cardinals have also shown interest, but Rosenthal notes that both of those teams have obstacles to such a deal. Rosenthal’s conclusion:
Barring a surprise — and let’s face it, free agency always is full of surprises — the best guess is that Turner will stay with the Dodgers on a good deal, but perhaps a lesser one than he envisioned.
That sounds about right, even if it can be frustrating while waiting.
Just about every account of the Dodgers’ offseason notes that Turner remains a priority, though the team is considering options, including a potential second straight December trade involving Todd Frazier, who has one year remaining before free agency.
Dodgers have talked about todd Frazier but prefer to just bring back Justin turner, if they can— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
At the very least, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman understands that to return Turner and/or Jansen, the club may have to reach beyond their comfort zone. Plus, this is a solid sound byte:
GM quote of the day— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) December 6, 2016
"If you do what you rationally want to do, you will finish third on every free agent." - Andrew Friedman.
While the Dodgers were waiting for markets to develop for their various interests, manager Dave Roberts talked about the weight of two of his players.
The club wants Kenta Maeda to add weight, building up strength to be able to pitch more often on regular rest.
The Dodgers want Kenta Maeda to put on some mass so he can pitch on regular rest more often in 2017.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) December 6, 2016
Maeda made 14 of his 32 regular season starts on regular rest in 2016, posting a 3.66 ERA, compared to 3.35 ERA on extra rest. He also faded down the stretch and in the postseason.
Conversely, the Dodgers want Yasiel Puig to be more athletic, which is essentially the same thing the club told him last winter.
“[Puig] believes in getting stronger and staying stronger, but the natural foundation of his strength is plenty,” Roberts said. “He was receptive. It’s more about not a number as far as weight, it’s more just leaning out.”
As for the World Baseball Classic, Maeda hasn’t yet made his decision on whether to pitch for Japan. Roberts said, "Whatever he decides, we're going to support."