The Dodgers have an opening at designated hitter, and will be linked to free agent Shohei Ohtani this winter.
After holding on to the two-way superstar after the trade deadline while opting to buy in for a potential postseason run, the Angels failed to reach the playoffs for the ninth straight season and won’t receive anything in return for Ohtani, other than a compensatory draft pick.
Ohtani will most likely be the recipient of the 2023 American League MVP, marking the second time in his career where he has won the award. Ohtani this season with the bat slashed .304/.412/.645 with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and a 184 OPS+. On the mound, Ohtani went 10-5 in 23 starts with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.061 WHIP, striking out 167 hitters in 132 innings, and posting an ERA+ of 142. Ohtani was the only player this season to register at least 10 rWAR.
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes about the Dodgers’ interest in signing Ohtani this offseason, noting who the Dodgers could look into if they aren’t able to reach a deal with the former MVP:
“Another Japanese star would address the Dodgers’ need. At 25 years old, right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to be posted this winter by the Orix Buffaloes and will have a number of high-dollar suitors with the Dodgers prominent among them.”
Yoshinobu Yamamoto is set to make his entrance into Major League Baseball this upcoming season, and there are many potential suitors that have engaged in conversations with the Japanese star. Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes that the Dodgers, Mets, and Yankees are all teams that are in the running to sign Yamamoto.
Andrew Friedman has much to answer for the Dodgers’ postseason meltdown at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times has more on Friedman’s decisions to make this offseason:
“After another 100-win campaign and National League West division title — the fifth and eighth times, respectively, the Dodgers achieved those feats in his nine-year reign as president of baseball operations — Friedman insisted the club’s internal processes remain sound and that few sweeping changes are needed for the team this winter.”
Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was named as the greatest Dodger of all time by Huston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times in the latest edition of Dodgers Dugout.
Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic writes about the Dodgers’ postseason failures and what Friedman will have to do to put out a winning team when the games matter the most.