After a busy week of transactions, let’s take a look at various Dodgers news and notes to start the weekend.
Jeff Passan at ESPN in his MLB offseason preview says of the Dodgers: “The bullpen needs help, the rotation could use another arm and the lineup has plenty of room for improvement. The big question: Are the Dodgers going to stay under the $233 million luxury-tax threshold and reset the penalties going forward, or will they continue to operate as the financial behemoth they are?”
Clayton Kershaw is “enjoying parts of the game he previously didn’t allow himself to enjoy,” Dylan Hernández at the Los Angeles Times wrote.
“Bringing back Kershaw for another season is more than an exercise in nostalgia for the Dodgers, as his return solidifies a rotation with several questions,” writes Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs.
Kershaw’s return to the Dodgers was graded a B+ by Bradford Doolittle at ESPN. “These one-year deals for Kershaw are becoming like an annual rite, and they are a nice little gift to baseball fans, even those who don’t bleed Dodger blue,” he wrote. “When No. 22 takes the hill at Dodger Stadium, all feels right in the world.”
With Kershaw back with Los Angeles, the Rangers didn’t sign the hometown pitcher for a second straight offseason. Evan Grant at the Dallas Morning News argues that, because Kershaw’s decision was made so early, he clarified what should be the Rangers’ offseason plan.
Tyler Anderson’s looming free agency, as well as his pending decision whether to accept the Dodgers’ qualifying offer of $19.65 million, is dissected by J.P. Hoornstra at the Los Angeles Daily News.
The only one of the eight candidates on this year’s Contemporary Era Hall of Fame ballot to have played for the Dodgers is Fred McGriff, who played first base in Los Angeles as a 39-year-old in 2003. Jay Jaffe examines McGriff’s Cooperstown credentials at FanGraphs.
A look at the FanGraphs WAR leaderboard from 2018-22 by Derek Van Riper at The Athletic shows Mookie Betts atop the list, with Freddie Freeman ranking ninth while leading MLB in games played during that time:
A five-year fWAR leaderboard with percentage of max games played between 2018-2022 (708 is the max).— Derek VanRiper (@DerekVanRiper) November 11, 2022
Freddie Freeman and Marcus Semien > 98%!
Trout (68.1%) and Judge (77.3%) ranking second and third in fWAR, respectively, despite injury absences. pic.twitter.com/VoY89p7vp2