Los Angeles Dodgers: 5 Things To Do This Offseason
5 Things The Dodgers Should Do This Offseason
This may be very premature, but honestly it’s never too early to start planning your team’s future once the postseason ends. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a very talented team with a mix of youth, veterans, dominant players and players who just take up salary space and give very little to the team in return. This year we saw the likes of Carl Crawford and Brian Wilson return from Tommy John surgery, and both had solid years when on the field. We saw a bit of a youth movement with the debut of Yasiel Puig and the spark he gave the Dodgers from day one. Out of the bullpen, a young lefty by the name of Paco Rodriguez did his thing all year and is a bright part of the future for the Dodgers.
Sadly we saw a star player, Matt Kemp, bounce back and forth from the disabled list and will now sit out the 2013 MLB playoffs. Kemp wasn’t the only player who was banged up throughout the year. Starting pitchers Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett barely saw the field this year and ended up with season ending injuries. Who knows when either one will be healthy enough to return to the pitching mound. The Dodgers have a very high payroll and it may be in their best interest to cut into it so they can re-sign a few of their best players to long term contracts this offseason. There are a few things I would like to see the Dodgers do this offseason, but these five things are of highest priority for the Dodgers to do.
Re-sign Brian Wilson
The Dodgers took a chance on Brian Wilson this season by signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract, and boy did Wilson impress. Although it is a very small sample size, in 13 innings, Wilson had a 0.66 ERA and had a very nice K/9 rating with 8.56. What more could you ask for from a reliever? Wilson did enough this season in the limited time to deserve to be re-signed and given a chance to be the right handed set-up guy for Kenley Jansen.
Continue The Youth Movement
We saw the debut and dominant play from Yasiel Puig this year. Paco Rodriguez did his thing out of the bullpen for the Dodgers, and both of them are young and have a bright future. The Dodgers should continue this youth movement. Three potential players who should get an opportunity at making the 2014 opening day roster would be Dee Gordon, Zach Lee and Joc Pederson. Will any or all of these guys make the roster next year? That is yet to be determined, but the Dodgers should think long and hard about it.
Cut Some Salary By Getting Rid Of Older Players
In order to continue a youth movement, the Dodgers need to rid themselves of older players who aren't producing at high levels. Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis are both free agents, and the Dodgers should willingly let one or both of them walk. That would open up a spot for Dee Gordon to hopefully win an opening day starting job. Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig all deserve starting jobs, but only three can start at a time. If the Dodgers were able to trim cap by trading any of them except Puig, then Joc Pederson could start out as the fourth outfielder and see how he progresses before giving him the everyday start. Chad Billingsley, Josh Becket and Chris Capuano should all be wondering about their employment for next year. With Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu locked at the 1-3 spots in the rotation, that leaves two spots open. Give the fourth spot to one of those veterans and let Zach Lee attempt to earn the fifth spot in the rotation and see just what he is capable of doing at the big league level.
Sign Kenley Jansen To A Long-Term Deal
Enough with the experimenting of Brandon League starting the season as closer. It's officially time for Kenley Jansen to get signed to a long-term deal and be labeled the closer of the Dodgers from game one to game 162! Jansen has been great at either set-up or closer, but the man deserves to be in one spot for the whole season and that spot is the closing.
Give Clayton Kershaw A Blank Check And Take It From There
The biggest thing to do this offseason is to finally pay Clayton Kershaw just what he deserves! How much is that? Who cares! Give the man a blank check and let him decide. There is no way the Dodgers should remotely let the possibility of Kershaw eventually leaving the Dodgers get past this offseason. He's 25 years old and will likely win his second NL Cy Young award this offseason. Sign him to a long-term contract that not only makes him financially set for the rest of his life and locks him up with the Dodgers for the long haul!