We continue looking at the 30 MLB teams as they head into the 2021 season. And on this piece, we examine The State of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Resigning Justin Turner
Offensively speaking, the Dodgers were pretty much set. The only “vacancy” was at third base because Justin Turner was a free agent. Many in the industry believed that Turner would resign with the Dodgers. So it wasn’t a surprise when the two sides came together on a new deal.
Resigning Blake Treinen/Signing Tommy Kahnle/Corey Knebel Trade
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a very analytically driven franchise. And one of the calling cards for a team of that nature is a strong bullpen core. And for the Dodgers, they capitalized on the market to bring in Tommy Kahnle, Corey Knebel, and Blake Treinen. Each reliever will serve a different purpose for LA. Tommy Kahnle won’t provide anything for the Dodgers in 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. But Kahnle will be an important and cost-efficient asset in 2022. Bringing back Blake Treinen will give the Dodgers another strong back end of the bullpen. And adding Knebel will also strengthen the force that is the Dodgers’ pen.
Trevor Bauer Signing
Ok, so now we must discuss the biggest signing and target of the offseason, Trevor Bauer. Bauer was, without a doubt, the best player available on the market this offseason. Trevor Bauer is an absolute enigma but one of the most entertaining/infuriating players in MLB history. However, there’s very little debate about his talent. Bauer has turned himself into one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, and it’s all thanks to his belief in himself and the advancement of technology in baseball. For the Dodgers adding Trevor Bauer to an already nasty pitching staff was an absolute luxury. And a luxury that’s about to inflict a lot of pain to the rest of the NL West.
State of the Rotation
When examing the state of the Dodger’s rotation, it’s a mindblowing affair. The aforementioned Trevor Bauer will join Walker Buehler, Dustin May, David Price, Julio Urias, and of course, their franchise ace Clayton Kershaw. This rotation is likely going to be at, or at least near, the top of the Majors across all pitching categories. This rotation is one of the most dangerous sets of pitchers even assembled. If you were creating a rotation in MLB the show, this group is akin to a cheat code rotation. And for Los Angeles, this is their starting group.
State of the Bullpen
If there is any semblance of a weak spot on this roster, it’s in the bullpen. However, that being said, there’s nothing weak about this bullpen. For many other teams in MLB, this bullpen would be its strongest asset. Yet, for the Dodgers’ it’s likely its weakest. The Dodgers’ bullpen should be able to lock down any lead they give them. And they should be able to stay strong down the stretch because of their depth.
State of the Offense
The offense for the Los Angeles Dodgers is as potent and dangerous as the rest of this team. There are so many weapons on this roster that LA let players leave without a real attempt to bring them back. LA is the epitome of being stacked. All through that roster, there are guys capable of slugging or making contact or both. Some guys can steal bases and others that are station to station. The level of versatility and variety on the NL West champions roster is what allows them to continue year in and year out without skipping a beat.
State of the Franchise
There is very little to question about the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021. They are as strong as a team can possibly be going into a new season. We have not seen a repeat champion in Major League Baseball since the 1999-2000 New York Yankees. However, the Dodgers seem poised and most likely the next ones to accomplish that feat. There will be some competition for LA now, not just in the NL West with the Padres but also across the MLB board. For the Dodgers to repeat, they will need things to go well in the health department. If LA can remain healthy, they must be looked at as the favorites to win the World Series.