After a holiday break, we are back with a new episode of the True Blue LA podcast. We caught up on the Dodgers roster, though admittedly not much actually happened in the last few weeks other than the Justin Turner signing becoming official.
One thought that we discussed was how the moves this winter are not only building a Dodgers team for 2017, but for 2018 as well. It isn’t so much that the Dodgers only have a two-year window to compete; there is plenty in the cupboard and in the pipeline for 2019 and beyond.
But just looking at the roster, it seems like most of the projected 25-man roster for 2017 will also be in place in 2018. Andre Ethier — unless he gets 550 plate appearances in 2017 -- will be a free agent after this season, but the rest of the lineup and pitching staff is signed or under team control through at least 2018.
Adrian Gonzalez is signed through 2018. Clayton Kershaw can opt out after 2018. Yasmani Grandal is eligible for free agency after 2018. The window is pretty clear.
This fits second base as well, with the Dodgers pursuing Brian Dozier (under contract through 2018), and backup plans of Logan Forsythe and (long shot) Ian Kinsler both with one year plus a club option left.
Jacob is rightfully concerned about the depth of the starting rotation, though Eric offered this stat that can either make you feel better or worse:
The non-Kershaw/Hill/Urias Dodgers in 2016 had a 4.69 ERA while averaging just 5.08 innings per start. That’s bad. That crew made a whopping 120 starts in 2016.
Kershaw, Rich Hill (acquired Aug. 1) and Julio Urias (major league debut on May 27) made a combined 42 starts last year. It’s hard to imagine that number not increasing significantly in 2017.
We also talked briefly about salary arbitration, which will likely run its course for six Dodgers next week. Then we answered questions, including Jacob ranking his favorite Star Wars movies.