This is the fourth winter meetings for Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi with the Dodgers, and each of the previous three were eventful for the baseball operations department in one way or another.
Here is a look back at the Dodgers’ activity in the last three years during baseball’s annual gathering of wheeling and dealing.
Three years ago in San Diego saw the Dodgers front office at its most active. After a pair of days of relative quiet — outside of trading Drew Butera to the Angels on Tuesday, the first major league trade between the Dodgers and Halos in 38 years — Wednesday after lunch at the winter meetings was a non-stop barrage of transactions.
First came news of the Dodgers’ trade for Jimmy Rollins, to serve as a bridge at shortstop to top prospect Corey Seager.
Then came the Dee Gordon trade, sending the All-Star second baseman to the Marlins along with Dan Haren (plus $10 million to cover his salary) and Miguel Rojas for Austin Barnes, Kike Hernandez, Chris Hatcher and pitcher Andrew Heaney.
Heaney was simultaneously dealt to the Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick, which prompted one of the coolest tweets:
Before we could catch our breath, news came of an agreement close between Brandon McCarthy on a four-year, $48 million contract.
The trades with the Marlins and Angels — actually, one simultaneous three-way deal — were finalized that Wednesday night, late enough that the press conference at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel was after midnight. One casualty of the trade was catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was designated for assignment just five days after the Dodgers claimed him off waivers.
Even later Wednesday night — technically Thursday — news broke that the Dodgers and Padres were on the verge of a Matt Kemp trade, a five-player deal that was agreed upon by breakfast, with Yasmani Grandal the main return from San Diego. The Dodgers were very interested in upgrading the catching position, with their pursuit of free agent Russell Martin falling short and a trade of Andre Ethier for Miguel Montero was scuttled by Diamondbacks ownership, both just days of the winter meetings.
Zach Eflin, one of the pitchers the Dodgers received in the Kemp trade, would head to the Phillies in the Rollins trade.
That was a wild 24 hours.
2015: Unfinished business
Two years ago in Nashville was more memorable for Dodgers deals that didn’t happen than anything else.
On the Sunday before the winter meetings even started, the Dodgers agreed to a three-year, $45 million deal with right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, but that deal was never finalized because Iwakuma failed a physical.
Just two days earlier, free agent Zack Greinke left the Dodgers for the rival Diamondbacks on a six-year, $206.5 million contract that set a record for average annual value for a pitcher.
The big news on the first day of the meetings was the Dodgers agreeing in principle with the Reds to add Aroldis Chapman to create a super bullpen of sorts with Chapman and Kenley Jansen at the back end. However, by the end of the day news of a domestic violence incident with Chapman killed the deal.
Also on Monday, the Dodgers claimed pitcher Danny Reynolds off waivers from the Angels. His stint on the 40-man roster lasted 11 days.
On Wednesday at the winter meetings, the Dodgers made official their one-year, $7 million deal for Chase Utley to return.
2016: The big three
Last year in Maryland the Dodgers were pretty focused on retaining their three major free agents. Rich Hill was the first to agree to return, signing a three-year, $48 million deal and was introduced at a press conference at the winter meetings on Monday.
The rest of the meetings were relatively uneventful, other than the Dodgers continuing to pursue Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, their other two main free agents. Jansen’s wedding was the weekend following the winter meetings, an event that proved quite fruitful for the Dodgers, as both would agree to return within the next week.
The Dodgers didn’t sign Shohei Ohtani, and they didn’t trade for Giancarlo Stanton, but there are still moves to be made.
Will they go after a starting pitcher? Or a reliever that isn’t Brandon Morrow, who is possibly headed to the Cubs? Or perhaps a left-handed infielder, or even an outfielder like Marcell Ozuna, for instance?
Your guess is as good as mine.