The Los Angeles Dodgers offseason started the latest for the second straight year and here is what to look towards, at least immediately.
A six-year run that includes yearly division titles and the last two National League pennants is something any team would kill for. But for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the focus will surely be on the fact that they are the first team to lose back to back World Series since the 2010-11 Texas Rangers.
After falling short on breaking their 30 year World Series drought there certainly is a “what now” feeling in the air.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have the talent, resources, and front office intelligence to make a third World Series in a row but can they finally make the moves to win the whole thing.
Will Kershaw Opt Out?
No Dodgers fan wants their last image of Clayton Kershaw to be hunched over on the mound as the season is coming to the end having given up three home runs.
The ball is in Kershaw’s court, he can opt out of the final two years and leave 65 million dollars on the table to try and re-sign with the Dodgers or for the first time in his career test the free agent waters.
It is hard to believe that Kershaw will leave the Dodgers, he has had two lengthy stints on the DL with a balky back, his 2.73 ERA was the highest since his 1st year as a starter, and the velocity on his fastball is down making him less of an ace.
His career and name might be enough for a team to lure him away though and the Dodger may need to contemplate a future without Kershaw.
Prediction: Kershaw opts out but re-signs with Dodgers
Do You Re-Sign Manny Machado?
Manny Machado was brought in to shore up the season-long loss of Corey Seager, though he had his moments Machado was not the same hitter with the Dodgers than he was with the Baltimore Orioles.
Though he hit 15 home runs in 66 games with the Dodgers according to FanGraphs Machado’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) was down with Dodgers (2.4) compared with the Orioles (3.8).
In the playoffs Machado made himself more of a story with his antics than with his play, many times Machado looked like he refused to hustle and in the World Series, he was pedestrian hitting .182 with zero extra-base hits.
With Corey Seager coming back you could try and move him to 2nd base but Machado’s play and his rumored astronomical salary demands don’t look like Machado will be back in a Dodgers uniform.
Prediction: Bye-bye Manny (and good riddance)
Fire Dave Roberts
This premise is the least likely, for all his woes at pushing the wrong button at every juncture of the World Series it is more likely that the Dodgers extend Roberts to keep him as manager.
Roberts has led this team to the playoffs all three years and their first back to back World Series in forty years. He has a good relationship with his clubhouse and is respected by the players.
Whatever game plan he formulates with the front office he follows blindly; then the brain trust is less likely to get rid of someone following their plan. I expect Roberts to be back.
Prediction: Dave stay but please get him a better bullpen