Brandon Gomes: Dodgers Tuning Out Criticism Over Free Agency Spending

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The Los Angeles Dodgers re-established themselves around Major League Baseball as one of the premier destinations for free agents after signing both Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Ohtani’s $700 million contract is the largest guaranteed to one player in professional sports history, while Yamamoto’s $325 million deal set a record for a pitcher in MLB history. The Dodgers showed an immense amount of restraint in free agency during recent years, which in turn allowed them to spend lavishly this time around.

The Dodgers also traded for Tyler Glasnow and immediately signed him to a contract extension of five years at a total of $136.5 million. In terms of financial commitment, they’ve allocated more than $1 billion in this offseason alone.

That’s sparked some criticism and debate as to whether the Dodgers are trying to buy their way to a World Series title, but general manager Brandon Gomes explained that the focus was to simply build a better roster.

“That is stuff that we try to tune out as an organization,” Gomes said. “We are trying to add talent as much as we can.

“No matter what happens if you win, or you don’t win, there’s going to be something that comes along with that, some type of narrative. So for us, we were very focused on adding talent that we felt confident will help our team this year and moving forward, and we feel like we’ve done that so far.”

Pairing Ohtani with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman gives the Dodgers the most valuable trio when looking at combined WAR from 2023. Whereas Yamamoto provides them with a front-end ace that was a desperate need.

Brandon Gomes: Dodgers wanted starting pitchers to aid postseason

Acquiring Yamamoto and Glasnow gives the Dodgers an incredibly formidable one-two punch in the postseason. Their insertion takes immediate pressure of the rest of the starting rotation, mainly Bobby Miller, who figures to have a foothold going forward but is still developing and gaining Major League experience.

During the early stages of free agency, Gomes hinted that the Dodgers’ rotation was a huge detriment to any potential success in the 2023 playoffs, noting that their focus was bolstering that area.

Although Yamamoto has yet to throw a pitch in MLB, the Dodgers, and a long list of interested teams, believe in his ability to translate to a step-up in talent. In 24 starts for the Orix Buffaloes this past season, Yamamoto went 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 176 strikeouts.

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