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MLB Insider Says LA Still Needs One More Thing Before Opening Day

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: it seems like the Dodgers haven’t made many big moves except posting one “Thank you (enter player’s name here)” after another.

They’ve welcomed Noah Syndergaard, Shelby Miller, and J.D. Martinez to their 40-man roster, while resigning Kershaw for another year, But, they’ve also said goodbye to Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner. Then as of recently, they announced that they will be releasing Bauer from their organization which means they’ll eat a huge chunk of cash this year.

So now what? What are the Dodgers left with?

Now with Martinez added into the lineup, they will have three All-Stars most likely back to back to back in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and the former Red Sox designated hitter. But, according to an MLB insider, that’s still not enough.

In a recent MLB.com article, he name dropped the Dodgers as one of seven teams that still have some work to do before Opening Day:

“Dodgers
Biggest need(s): Another bat

To be clear, the Dodgers are still one of the top World Series contenders entering 2023 — and even remain a slight favorite in the National League West. But that gap is significantly smaller than entering previous seasons. After all, Los Angeles lost superstar shortstop Trea Turner in free agency, as well as veterans Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. Justin Turner was an All-Star as recently as 2021 and, despite turning 38 in November, still posted a 116 OPS+ in 2022. Bellinger, meanwhile, has fallen off drastically on the offensive side over the past few years, but he still provided excellent defense last season, leading to a 1.7 fWAR.

Though the Dodgers re-signed Clayton Kershaw and more recently added 35-year-old designated hitter J.D. Martinez, it’s fair to wonder if they’ve done enough to offset those losses. Per FanGraphs, the Dodgers lost 21.3 WAR from 2022 to free agency — and they’ve added only 6.9. That drop-off of 14.3 WAR is by far the most in the Majors. As it stands, Los Angeles is set to enter the season with James Outman and Trayce Thompson starting alongside Mookie Betts in the outfield, with Gavin Lux set to fill Turner’s shoes at shortstop. Though the 25-year-old Lux made strides with his bat last season, it remains to be seen whether he’s ready to be the everyday shortstop on a title-contending club.”

But I’m sure the Dodgers already know the risks they’re taking in not making any big moves right?

They’re planning to reset their tax and give some of the younger guys a chance to break into the game but like the article said, the Dodgers are still going to be a top contender in he NL West and when the playoffs come around.

So, maybe we just have to trust that it will all come together during Spring Training. What do you think Dodgers Nation? Are the Boys in Blue in more trouble than we think or will they turn out just fine this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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