The Los Angeles Dodgers have made minor signings this offseason, but what they have done to this point will help the team immensely in 2014. Now that the bidding on Masahiro Tanaka has officially begun, the Dodgers can’t afford to get to wrapped up in it while there are still other pressing issues that are yet to be taken care of in Los Angeles.
I understand Tanaka could have a future as an ace of a MLB pitching staff, but the Dodgers have an ace of their own that is yet to get the big contract everyone is expecting. Clayton Kershaw should get paid before the Dodgers decide to bring another starter into an already cluttered rotation. Regardless of how long the negotiations continue to take, it is clearly something that needs to get done in Los Angeles.
Another player that is up for an extension is starting shortstop Hanley Ramirez. This situation needs to be handled very carefully or else it will come back and bite the Dodgers. Ramirez is only 29 years old, but his history of nagging injuries should be a concern. Locking Hanley up isn’t a bad idea, but the cost of doing so is something that can handicap the Dodgers for years to come if they don’t handle this extension properly. After all, I’m sure the Dodgers would love to avoid another Matt Kemp contract situation.
Don Mattingly has voiced his displeasure over his own contract situation. Mattingly will be in the dugout in 2014 for the Dodgers, but what about after that? It doesn’t matter how much talent one team has; if they don’t have a manager capable of leading the team then it’s just money being wasted. If Mattingly doesn’t have a future in Los Angeles then the Dodgers need to save money to bring in a manager that can lead L.A. to the postseason and a World Series after Don leaves.
I get that the Dodgers are trying to build a World Series contending team, but taking care of in house issues should be a priority as well. There is tons of talent wearing Dodger Blue, but until these issues are taken care of there will still remain some doubt in how far the Dodgers can truly go.
Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org