Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers reestablished 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 figure guaranteed to one player in professional sports history, while Yamamoto’s $325 million deal set a record for a pitcher. The Dodgers showed an immense amount of restraint in free agency in recent years, which in turn freed them up to add blue chip players.
The Dodgers also traded for Tyler Glasnow and quickly extended him for five-years at a total of $136.5 million. In terms of financial commitment, they’ve allocated more than one billion dollars in one offseason.
Some debate around Major League Baseball is whether the Dodgers are trying to purchase 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 wanted to add starting pitchers to aid postseason
Landing 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.
Prior to the bulk 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 the laundry list of interested teams, believe in his ability to translate to a step-up in talent. In 24 starts this past season, he went 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 176 strikeouts.
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