Heading into the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers made it clear their focus was on adding elite talent to the roster. The team was coming off a franchise-record 106 wins and had their sights on the likes of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg in free agency.
Strasburg unsurprisingly re-signed with the Washington Nationals, while Rendon did not have interest in joining the Dodgers and instead preferred the L.A. Angels, and Cole seemingly was determined to join the New York Yankees.
When speaking at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he anticipated more roster turnover than in prior years. All that’s amounted to thus far is Hyun-Jin Ryu signing with the Toronto Blue Jays and Rich Hill joining the Minnesota Twins.
Roberts nevertheless remains confident in a roster that’s added depth in the form of Jimmy Nelson, Blake Treinen and Alex Wood. “Very talented,” Roberts said at Dodgers FanFest. “You look at 1 through 35, it’s a lot of the same guys we’ve had.
“And I know I’ve talked about turnover, but to unleash talent or let go of talent just to do it for the sake of doing it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And obviously when you’re talking about potential trades, it’s gotta work both ways.
“And free agents that we courted, it didn’t work out. We talked about that obviously throughout the winter. But to your question, where we’re at right now, it’s a very talented group and a very focused team.”
The Dodgers remain heavy favorites to win the National League West and among the teams projected to reach the World Series, even with a roster that’s largely unchanged. “We have a lot of talent, a lot of depth and a lot of versatility,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.
“Whenever that’s your jumping off point, it puts you in a good position. We hunted a few guys at the top of the roster, and beyond that we’re really focused on upside. Because for us — for lack of a better term — we have kind of a high floor basically everywhere.
“So for us, it’s about making some upside plays, which we feel like we’ve added some guys that fit into that. But in a lot of ways the offseason is still roaring on and there’s still a lot of conversations and things happening. But we feel good about where we are and if we’re able to do something that makes us feel even better, that’s awesome.”
The Dodgers reportedly remain involved with the Boston Red Sox for a potential Mookie Betts trade. L.A. and the San Diego Padres were said to have submitted trade offers that are being evaluated by the Red Sox.
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