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Winter meetings notes: Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Dylan Cease

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Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Today marks the start of the 2023 winter meetings, and all eyes will be heavily centered on where reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani will sign.

The Dodgers have been and are still currently the favorites to land Ohtani, with the Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, and San Francisco Giants all in the mix. Jon Morosi of MLB.com has hinted at the possibility of Ohtani finding his next team during the winter meetings, with Jon Heyman of the New York Post reporting that Ohtani’s contract could exceed the $500 million and even the $600 million threshold.

The Dodgers would love to sign Ohtani, but he isn’t necessarily the piece that will transform their rotation and their overall roster overnight.

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes about the Dodgers’ plans during the winter meetings, providing a list of consolation prizes to bolster the rotation should the Dodgers fail to land Ohtani.

“‘Column A’ would be the front-of-the rotation types expected to be available either through free agency (Yamamoto or Snell) or trade (Tampa’s Tyler Glasnow, Chicago White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease, Cleveland’s Shane Bieber or 2021 Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes). The Dodgers have plenty of competition for those pitchers, with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets prominent among those in pursuit.”

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Along with signing Ohtani, the Dodgers have been in the mix for starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto. If the Dodgers are able to bring in both starters, it could drastically their ability to go after other high-end starters on the trade market.

Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic has more on the Dodgers’ plans for the winter meetings:

“Adding a premier free agent would put the Dodgers in a position clubs rarely venture into, having three massive contracts absorbing a large portion of their payroll under the luxury tax threshold. It’s a pill the Dodgers could surely swallow financially; Friedman’s past comments on the tax have centered more around the other competitive factors of crossing the threshold multiple years in a row, ranging from lesser draft picks, loss of bonus pools in the international market and more.”

Looking into the Dodgers’ plans on acquiring a top end starter via trade, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers are one of three teams linked to Chicago White Sox starter Dylan Cease, with the Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles in the mix.