It’s been a fairly quiet offseason for not just the Dodgers, but all of baseball. There haven’t been anywhere close to the number of free-agent signings as we normally see by this point. We did see some news yesterday, as the Dodgers bid farewell to one of the longest tenured players in the organization, Pedro Báez. The reliever signed with the Houston Astros (sigh).
There are still moves yet to come. The only question is, what will they be?
Could LA sign Marcell Ozuna if there’s a DH in 2021?
There were some rumblings the other day that Marcell Ozuna was drawing interest from a number of teams, including the Dodgers. Along with the Dodgers, there were four other National League teams mentioned in the report.
Marcell Ozuna is drawing interest from multiple teams: Mets, Braves, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Giants, Nationals, Yankees and Dodgers appear to have varying levels of interest, per @mikedeportes. https://t.co/awbkwTbRXl— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 8, 2021
Why is the National League part important? Well, Ozuna isn’t quite who you want roaming your outfield. His defense isn’t particularly great, and the belief is that he’d sign with an American League team as a full-time DH. Somehow, we’re midway through January and there isn’t any word as to whether or not the DH will be returning to the National League in 2021.
However, with this many National League teams reportedly involved, you’d think maybe they’re under the impression there will be one? Not to mention, Ken Rosenthal said yesterday that he believes the DH will be in the NL this season.
“I do expect, ultimately, there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 and beyond.”— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) January 13, 2021
If that’s the case, then all of a sudden the Ozuna rumors involving the Dodgers make a little more sense. He’ll likely fill the role of a full-time DH, who could give spot starts in the outfield when needed. In addition, Bienvenido Rojas tweeted saying that the Dodgers are not only interested in Ozuna, but have negotiated with him. Though he’s the only one to report this, Rojas is one of the top sports reporters in the Dominican Republic, where Ozuna is from.
•Yankees y Dodgers están negociando con Marcell Ozuna.— Bienvenido Rojas (@bienvenidorv) January 13, 2021
•Corey Kluber se mostrará este miércoles ante 10 equipos de la MLB.
•Gerente de los Padres viajó a República Dominicana para negociar con Fernando Tatís Jr. su extensión de contrato.
This is definitely an interesting rumor, as the Dodgers aren’t necessarily hurting for an outfielder. They have Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and AJ Pollock as their three starters. They also have Chris Taylor who will see a lot of playing time, along with Matt Beaty, DJ Peters, Zach Reks and Luke Raley on the 40-man roster. Additionally, there’s also the possibility the Dodgers bring back either Joc Pederson or Enrique Hernandez.
If there’s no DH, then you’d think there’s zero to no chance the Dodgers even offer him a contract. But all of a sudden if there is confirmation that there will be a DH this season, then it can become interesting.
Ozuna has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the last five years and would be a huge addition to an already stacked starting lineup. As I mentioned earlier, you wouldn’t have to worry about him being primarily a DH. You could still throw him in the outfield every now and then to rotate players in the DH position, something the Dodgers did frequently last season.
There’s also a chance the Dodgers could potentially move Pollock, clearing up a space on the roster and shedding some salary. After his great season in 2020, his value is definitely higher than it was a year ago at this time. However, it really wouldn’t make sense to deal him unless the Dodgers would be getting a solid haul in return.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers have checked in on Ozuna to see what kind of contract he’d be looking for. When there’s a bat of his caliber out there, it makes perfect sense to discuss a potential deal. However, it’s just tough to see Ozuna ending up in Los Angeles.
Could the Dodgers take a flier on Corey Kluber?
Just like I mentioned with Ozuna, here’s another player the Dodgers don’t need to go after. There’s a chance they don’t even have interest. According to Jeff Passan, nearly 25 teams attended Corey Kluber’s showcase yesterday. There’s no number as to how many teams showed up, but it looks as if there were at least 75 percent of teams there.
Nearly 25 teams showed up at Corey Kluber's showcase today, and scouts came away impressed. His fastball sat 88-90 -- and he's got more velocity in the tank as he builds toward spring training. Kluber threw 30 pitches, including all of his off-speed stuff. Strong market expected.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2021
Again, there’s a chance the Dodgers were one of the few teams not there. There aren’t reports as to the few teams who didn’t show up, so as of now we just don’t know. The reason I think the Dodgers might have been in attendance is because of their history with the starter. They were interested in him back in 2018. There were also some rumblings last offseason, prior to him heading to Texas.
After an awful 2019 season and a 2020 season that saw him appear in one game, Kluber’s value isn’t too high right now. He’ll be 35 this season, and hasn’t looked like a good pitcher since 2018. However, if there’s any team that can turn a pitcher’s career around, is there any team you’d trust more than the Dodgers?
The Dodgers’ starting rotation already looks pretty set in stone. Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler will be there. David Price will (hopefully) be there, but he hasn’t confirmed whether or not he’ll return in 2021. Then you have the young guys like Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Julio Urias, who you’d figure will fill out the rotation.
However, if the Dodgers believe Kluber is healthy and they think they can get him on a bargain of a deal, why not take a chance on him and see what happens?
There’s still the chance they didn’t even attend his workout, and even if they did.. I think they’re fine on starting pitching. But hey, rumors sure are fun!
Your guess is as good as mine as to what in the world is going to happen with DJ LeMahieu. The Dodgers have been attached to LeMahieu this offseason, but he appears to be out of their price range as he’s expecting $100+ million.
Last week, there was a report that he was “dismayed” with the Yankees and he’ll be re-engaging with other teams, including the Dodgers. Like I said, LeMahieu is expecting a huge payday and it’s difficult to see the Dodgers meeting that number. But hey, maybe they can convince him to take a discount or maybe get him to sign a two-year deal?
The Dodgers will likely just re-sign Justin Turner, but hey... rumors!