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Dominoes begin to fall at the Winter Meetings

Two Dodger potential targets, Justin Verlander and Trea Turner, are off the board and headed east.

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MLB: Winter Meetings Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Meetings are finally underway and some of the big free agent dominoes are beginning to fall.

On Monday, Justin Verlander and Trea Turner, two of the biggest free agents on the market, signed with teams in the National League East. Verlander will turn 40 years old before Opening Day but remains one of the top pitchers in baseball.

After losing Tyler Anderson to free agency and Walker Buehler for the majority of the season due to injury, the Dodger need to revamp their rotation and Verlander was a real option for the Dodgers. He will now join forces with Max Scherzer at the top of the Mets’ rotation in Queens, writes Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.

Turner, who has spent the last year and a half at the top of the Dodger order, was a long shot to return. The Phillies spent far more money on Turner, $300 million to be exact, than Andrew Friedman ever would’ve considered. It’s not his type of deal, especially with Mookie Betts’ contract already on the books.

The Dodgers made their one year deal with Clayton Kershaw official, but now have to figure out what the rest of the roster is going to look like. Every offseason, the Dodgers have to let go of guys they don’t feel the need to pay. Ultimately, when you scout well, you’re going to have guys on cheap deals that eventually need to get paid: Enrique Hernandez, Tyler Anderson, Joc Pederson.

You also have the ability to trade for the big rental piece at the deadline and then let them walk in free agency: Yu Darvish, Manny Machado, Max Scherzer, and now Trea Turner.

This is all part of Andrew Friedman’s job, understanding who is worth paying, who isn’t, but the biggest part of his job is putting together a World Series winning roster. Over the next week, we’re going to see if the Dodgers are really committed to allowing Gavin Lux to sink or swim at shortstop. We’re going to see if Friedman takes a big swing at a Carlos Rodon type of arm, or if he opts to find journeymen starters, such as Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, and hope to find yet another diamond in the rough.

Make sure your Twitter notifications are turned on, it’s going to be a busy week.

Read Ardaya’s complete article here.

Dodgers Links

The Contemporary Baseball Era Committee elected Fred McGriff to the Hall of Fame this week. There are many different things to learn from this election, writes Jayson Stark of The Athletic.

Jay Cohen of the Associated Press breaks down Trea Turner’s $300 million deal with the reigning National League champions.