The Dodgers made some news on Saturday evening by agreeing to terms with designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who is the club’s biggest non-Kershaw addition so far this offseason. Martinez’s one-year, $10-million contract isn’t yet official, but the pact spawned lots of reaction on Saturday.
Juan Toribo at MLB.com pointed out that the Dodgers tried to acquire Martinez is the trade deadline in August, but couldn’t swing a deal with the Red Sox.
Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic looked back at Martinez helping Mookie Betts reach another level in 2018 with Boston.
Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register noted an obvious potential domino effect of this deal: “The addition of Martinez and the Dodgers’ determination to push prospect Miguel Vargas into an everyday role next season would seem to leave limited playing time for [Justin] Turner.”
Alden Gonzalez in his analysis of the Martinez deal at ESPN added, “The Dodgers could still add a shortstop, but their most pressing need might be in center field.”
Here’s the news story of the signing from Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times.
Chad Moriyama at Dodgers Digest acknowledges Martinez’s four-year decline, but also that he’s still above average at the plate and very good against lefties. “He does provide a baseline boost for a lineup that probably needed it,” Moriyama wrote.
With shortstop Dansby Swanson finding a new home with the Cubs on Saturday, the deep end of the MLB free agent swimming pool is no longer open.
“The [Dodgers] entered the offseason with purported interest in essentially every elite player on the market, hoping for a chance to pounce if one of those players couldn’t find a long-term home. Then all of the position players inked significant, multiyear agreements,” wrote Andy McCullough at The Athletic. “This was not the winter to practice rationality, not if you wanted to acquire star players. The exuberance of the market left little room for opportunism.”
Seth Lugo has pitched in relief the last four seasons for the Mets, save for a six-week stretch of starts in 2020. Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic on December 7 reported the Dodgers were one of a few teams pursuing Lugo. Jon Heyman at the New York Post also reported LA’s interest one day later.
On Saturday, Rosenthal again reported the Dodgers’ interest:
Dodgers one of multiple teams in mix for free-agent right-hander Seth Lugo, sources tell me and @FabianArdaya. LAD most likely would build up Lugo to start, viewing him as added depth for rotation. If their young starters perform, they could always move him back to bullpen.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 18, 2022