Setting their sights on adding frontline talent to the roster, the Los Angeles Dodgers were strongly connected to the likes of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg leading up and during the Winter Meetings.
The club identified Cole as their top free-agent target of the offseason and reportedly extended him an eight-year, $300 million contract offer. While they were serious in their pursuit, the right-hander ultimately went on to sign a record-breaking deal with the New York Yankees.
After additionally falling short in their efforts to ink Strasburg and Rendon, the Dodgers wound up making just one notable addition during the month of December.
Looking to bolster the bullpen, L.A. signed former Oakland Athletics closer Blake Treinen to a one-year contract. The right-hander struggled mightily to the tune of a 4.91 ERA in 57 appearances last season, but is only one year removed from a spectacular 2018 campaign.
While Treinen opted not to elaborate on his woes from this past season, he revealed that the Dodgers have a plan for him to get back on track in 2020, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Treinen declined to offer his theory on what went wrong this year, but said the Dodgers have a “game plan moving forward.”
The Dodgers have emerged as a desirable destination for relievers hoping to recapture their form, helping the likes of Joe Blanton and Brandon Morrow in recent seasons.
Prior to his rough showing in 2019, Treinen was widely considered one of the league’s most dominant relievers. He went 9-2 with a career-best 0.78 ERA and 38 saves in 68 games during the 2018 season.
Treinen was selected to his first career All-Star Game that year and finished sixth in American League Cy Young Award. He also garnered votes for MVP, finishing 15th among his peers.
Treinen maintained that he is still an elite pitcher and believes his 2019 season was nothing more than an outlier.
As for his potential role in the Dodgers bullpen, the 31-year-old is open to anything asked of him. He is especially excited for the opportunity to throw meaningful innings for a club that has won seven consecutive National League West titles.
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