The Los Angeles Dodgers were the most active team in the 2012 MLB season. They made multiple blockbuster trades, acquiring the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett in hopes of making the playoffs.
L.A.’s willingness to acquire high-priced players didn’t translate into a postseason appearance. Now, the Dodgers look like they will be very active this offseason, to ensure that they don’t miss the postseason again.
The new ownership group of the Dodgers, which includes Magic Johnson, has shown that it will do whatever it takes to win. Like George Steinbrenner when he ran the New York Yankees, L.A’s brass doesn’t seem to be concerned with spending too much money. With that being the case, Los Angeles is looking to sign multiple big name free agents, and possibly the best player on the market.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, team officials met with Zack Greinke on Thursday. They reportedly are set to make a big push for the pitcher, hoping to pair him with Clayton Kershaw atop the rotation.
Greinke would join the second-best staff in the National League from a year ago. They finished just behind the Washington Nationals with a 3.41 ERA.
As the most coveted pitcher on the market, Greinke will command a lot of money. He could be seeking a contract similar to the one C.C. Sabathia signed with the Yankees in 2009. The lefty got $161 million over seven years.
After being traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Los Angeles Angels in the middle of the season, Greinke didn’t miss a beat in 2012. He finished the year at 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA. He’s consistently been one of the best pitchers in baseball since his Cy Young Award winning season in 2009, in which he threw for a 2.16 ERA with the Kansas City Royals.
The Texas Rangers, Nationals and Angeles are all reportedly looking to sign Greinke. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports claims the Dodgers might be willing to give the righty $140 million.
If Greinke decides to leave Los Angeles, the Dodgers have a backup plan. According to Max Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, L.A. has interest in Kyle Lohse.
The 11-year veteran had the best season of his career last year. He helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to Game Seven of the NLCS with his 2.86 ERA. Lohse has had a resurgence in the past two years. From 2001-2010, he only had one season with a sub 4.00 ERA.
The Dodgers are also looking to upgrade their bullpen, and could do so by signing the closer of their biggest rivals. Brian Wilson hopes to return to the San Francisco Giants, but the Dodgers would reportedly be his second choice.
Wilson wasn’t a part of the Giants second championship run in the past three years. He underwent Tommy John surgery after pitching just two games last season. He was one of the best closers in the majors over the previous few seasons, compiling 163 saves from 2008-2011.
Though not a free agent yet, Wilson could be free to sign with any team by Friday night. If the Giants don’t tender him a contract by 9 p.m. PT, he will be able to sign with any team of his choosing. Wilson’s surgery could complicate negotiations, as he might not be ready for opening day.
Even with their eyes on some of the game’s best pitchers, L.A. hasn’t forgotten about its offense. Trying to improve their hitting through trades didn’t do much, as the team finished the year 13th in the NL in runs scored.
The Dodgers are set in the outfield and at most infield positions after their trades. However, they could be looking to make a change at catcher. Jon Heyman reports that A.J. Pierzynski is on the team’s radar.
It doesn’t seem likely that L.A. would sign the 14-year veteran. They already have a younger catcher in A.J. Ellis who gave them good production last season, hitting .270 with an on-base percentage of .373.
Los Angeles has tried to sign Pierzynski in the past, but he decided to stay with the Chicago White Sox. His power numbers might intrigue the Dodgers brass. He hit 27 homers in 2012, which was more than double Ellis’s 13 long balls.
L.A. seems to have some interest in most big time free agents that are looking for new homes in 2013.