The Dodgers’ inactivity should disappoint the fanbase

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Clayton Kershaw (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Clayton Kershaw (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers, despite losing the World Series, still are the deepest and most talented team in the MLB. That should not stop the franchise from disappointing its fanbase.

Hopefully, I am wrong. Hopefully, there will be some great news that the Dodgers landed a great talent and this makes absolutely no sense. Because right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been pretty quiet during the offseason. However, that has not stopped the speculation. It has not stopped the hype. It will only lead to disappointment.

First, it started with two megastars: Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton. The Dodgers were heavily in the mix for both guys, however, failed to make anything happen. Ohtani is joining the freeway-rivaled Los Angeles Angels and Stanton is going to create a new dynasty for the Yankees.

Los Angeles may have dodged a bullet with Ohtani, as reports show he has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. Realistically, Ohtani will be fine for the start of the season and this should not slow him down. However, this is a concern for the Angels, especially considering Ohtani may be used as an everyday hitter and pitch in the rotation.

Then there is Stanton. Many point to the luxury tax as a blessing in disguise why the Dodgers did not get Stanton. However, on the grand scheme of things, you cannot help but feel disappointed that Stanton did not land in his hometown. The Dodgers were his first choice, yet no real ground was made.

This hurts even more considering the Yankees gave up practically nothing for Stanton aside from paying his massive contract. I get it, the Dodgers did not want to pay for it. But if the team gives Clayton Kershaw a $250 million contract next offseason, after having back issues as a pitcher, then money was never the issue to begin with.

Realistically, the Dodgers easily could have made Stanton work. But they didn’t. And something is stinking up the Dodgers offseason that leave an aura of disappointment. Hopefully, it goes away, but it won’t.

Los Angeles already lost Brandon Morrow to the Cubs. He is getting paid over $10 million, which is way too much for a setup man, that is fair. But again, this is only showcasing the Dodgers complacency.

What makes anybody think that the Dodgers are going to go out and get a big name star, such as Lorenzo Cain, to help the team? I get it, the team is very deep, but that should not stop the front office’s pursuit of getting better.

Is Los Angeles still a World Series contender without any moves? Absolutely. But why settle? The Golden State Warriors did not settle. The New York Yankees are not settling. Whenever team’s do settle (2017 Cubs, for example) they seemingly always fail to recapture that same success with virtually the same team a year later.

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That is because everyone gets better. The MLB is a revolving door of talent, a spinning wheel that you must keep up with. Look at the 21014-2015 Royals. They were also one game away from winning the World Series. What did they do? Added key pieces in Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. They won the World Series in five games the next year.

Instead, the Dodgers seem to be managing the team six years in the future when they eventually have to pay Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger big contracts. That is fair, you want to pay your guys what they owe. They are franchise players.

But running an organization based on the fear that you may not be relevant in eight years is crazy. Personally, I would trade one World Series title and be a rebuilding team in the future. That won’t happen with the Dodgers.

They are seemingly so considered about their massive market. They do not want to be mediocre in six years and attendance numbers dip. LA does not want to lose their massive advertisers such as Fly Emirates. For the Dodgers, they must be an organization that is consistently good enough to stay relevant.

And that is fine, that should be the ultimate goal; to be in contention. However, that should not stop the team from taking just one risk to win it all, at least once. National League West titles are nice and all, but you do not want to be the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta made the playoffs 14 times in a row from 1991 to 2005.

They won just one World Series in that span. The New York Yankees, who are known to go big or go home, made the playoffs every year from 1995-2007. They won four World Series. Did they suck after they had to pay Alex Rodriguez’ contract? Sure. But it took them just five years to return to World Series contention.

Los Angeles has that same big market luxury where they can turn a rebuild around in a manner of years. But they won’t do that. It is unfathomable. Adding Giancarlo Stanton was a special occasion that is very rare in baseball: the MVP going to the best team. That could have led to two, three, four or five World Series titles.

Am I being optimistic? Sure. But it definitely was more likely with Stanton than without him. Stanton is a metaphor. He is the perfect image of how Andrew Friedman wants to run the Dodgers. Sure, he has found some diamonds in the rough, but that can only go so far.

Friedman’s biggest accomplishment before running the Dodgers? Leading the Rays to the 2008 World Series. After falling short what did the Rays do? Nothing. They added very small, trivial pieces, sure. But the biggest concern was keeping the roster intact. Everyone else got better and the Rays missed the playoffs.

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They made it to the playoffs in 2010, 2011 and 2013, sure, but in all three years combined to win just five games. Tampa Bay did not make it past the Divisional Round. Friedman then left to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the same “diamond in the rough” mantra that guided the Rays to relevance led them to the ninth-least amount of wins since his departure (305).

Again, the chances of that happen to the Dodgers are much smaller, they will also have the big market advantage that the Rays do not have. However, when Friedman had his best unit, he decided to do nothing.

This will be the same this offseason. Perhaps the biggest news we will hear will be the team re-signing Yu Darvish. That is a good move, yes, but with guys like Chris Archer possibly available, it would be nice to take some risks.

Los Angeles does not want to part ways with any prospects. They do not want to spend any more money (despite freeing up a lot of dead weight this offseason). Instead, they will run with the same “Lets’ try and find cheap guys that are great” attitude.

It has worked so far, yes, but it is not a fail proof plan. Eventually, you have to make that big acquisition. The Cubs did it, the Royals did it, the Houston Astros did it last offseason. It would not be surprising to see the Dodgers not do it. Thus leading to inevitable disappointment from the fans that pay their bills.

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Division titles are great and all, but all of it means absolutely nothing if Los Angeles cannot win just one World Series while the door is still open.