Playoffs in peril? Dodgers operating in new reality after free-agency massacre

The Dodgers lost 2 of their leading gamers to totally free firm on Monday, with pitcher Max Scherzer, left, consenting to a handle the New York Mets and shortstop Corey Seager signing up with the Texas Rangers. (Associated Press)

October baseball was a due in these parts, the Dodgers practically ensured an area in the postseason for most of the last years.

You understand, back in the great old days.

The Dodgers are running under a brand-new truth in the wake of a Monday Massacre in which their worst worries were recognized.

Their finest player, Corey Seager, accepted a 10-year, $325-million handle the Texas Rangers.

Their finest pitcher, Max Scherzer, accepted a three-year, $130-million deal from the New York Mets.

The exodus of skill might extremely well continue, as Clayton Kershaw, Chris Taylor and Kenley Jansen are totally free representatives.

Instead of thinking about what they might do to advance even more in the playoffs next year, the Dodgers will now be rushing to simply go back to the postseason.

Andrew Friedman doesn’t need to restore their lineup, however he definitely needs to recondition it, a procedure that might lead to him making the type of franchise-altering relocations he made in his very first offseason as the group’s president of baseball operations.

The conditions are less than suitable for such an endeavor.

The league still hasn’t disciplined Trevor Bauer for the sexual attack accusations made versus him, implying the Dodgers don’t understand just how much of his $32-million income for 2022 they will need to pay. Players are anticipated to be locked out after the collective-bargaining arrangement ends on Wednesday, implying the free-agent and trade markets will be frozen for an indefinite duration.

Seager’s and Scherzer’s offers indicate how the Dodgers have more competitors for gamers than they formerly did. The Rangers have actually currently invested more than $550 million on totally free representatives. Under hedge-fund executive Steve Cohen, the Mets are investing how the Dodgers carried out in their early days under Guggenheim Baseball Management.

Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations, speaks with reporters.

Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations, talks to press reporters at the basic supervisor conferences in Carlsbad on Nov. 10. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The Dodgers now have genuine competitors in their department in the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.

Friedman, nevertheless, isn’t going back to square one.

The Dodgers still have 2 elite gamers at the top of their lineup in Mookie Betts and Trea Turner, who might move from 2nd base to shortstop to change Seager. (Turner will be a complimentary representative at the end of next season and may be more of a one-year Band-Aid than a long-lasting service.) Justin Turner and Will Smith are genuine offending hazards.

But as the lineup is presently built, Seager’s departure needs that Cody Bellinger uncovers his MVP kind after a down year. Or for Gavin Lux to end up being the gamer he was anticipated to be prior to his advancement stalled. Or for Max Muncy to recuperate from a season-ending elbow injury.

Muncy exposed he suffered a torn ulnar security ligament in an interview Monday with MLB Network.

“I’m not recovering as quick as I would like, but that’s what happens when you do some serious damage to your body,” Muncy confessed.

Losing Taylor might lead to other issues. Taylor’s capability to play several positions kept him in the lineup on many days, sparing supervisor Dave Roberts from needing to rely on his reserves as frequently as he would have otherwise.

As much as Albert Pujols’ contributions were commemorated, the truth was the Dodgers’ bench was weaker in 2015 than it had actually remained in any previous season under Friedman. The drawback was especially apparent in the postseason when the group turned to releasing Steven Souza Jr. as a pinch-hitter.

With Scherzer carrying on and Kershaw weighing his alternatives, the conventional strength of the Dodgers has actually ended up being a weak point. They don’t have a rotation.

The Dodgers have Walker Buehler and Julio Urías however little beyond that.

They have actually taken a $8.5-million flier on homer-prone Andrew Heaney. They are relying on Dustin May to return from reconstructive elbow surgical treatment eventually. They will most likely be required to continue extending chances to the similarity David Price, who doesn’t appear like a big league starter any longer, or Tony Gonsolin, who has actually never ever shown himself to be one.

Their farm system hasn’t produced another Buehler or Urías.

The free-agent market alone won’t resolve their requirements, specifically now that much of the leading gamers have actually signed. They will need to make trades, a few of which might consist of popular gamers. Friedman, if anything, has actually shown to be courageous; he as soon as traded Yasiel Puig and two times traded Matt Kemp.

He’ll need to do something like that once again and he’ll need to do it without the lieutenant who assisted him develop his World Series group, present Giants executive Farhan Zaidi.

But the best danger Friedman can take is to not take any danger. An removal in the divisional round of the postseason no longer represents the worst-case circumstance for the Dodgers. Missing the postseason totally is.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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