The Los Angeles Dodgers are going back to the drawing board after watching their World Series hopes vanish last month. The offseason came earlier than they had hoped for, having begun when they lost to the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on October 24.
They have lots to deal with, considering the tricky free agent situation, as well as injuries. They have also made some roster moves that could be of interest for sports betting fans already wagering on the next World Series, as they affect the MLB futures odds. Of course, they’re already the favorites for the World Series next year at 11/2 - the Houston Astros are next up on the favorites ladder at 7/1 following their finals appearance a few weeks ago, while the Tampa Bay Rays are at 14/1.
That noted, let’s take a look at all of the roster moves, as well as the injury situation going on in L.A.
On Friday, November 19, the Dodgers added shortstop Jacob Amaya (No. 14 Dodgers prospect), shortstop Eddys Leonard (No. 18), second baseman Jorbit Vivas (No. 19), outfielder James Outman (No. 27), and right-hander Michael Grove to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft set for December 8.
Earlier in the week, shortstop Corey Seager and utility player Chris Taylor declined qualifying offers. The pair turned down $18.4 million contracts and, should they opt to join another franchise, Los Angeles will get a compensatory Draft pick.
Last week, the team signed left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney to a one-year deal worth $8.5 million.
“I know that I’m much better than my numbers say I was last year,” Heaney said thereafter. “It was eye-opening to see how many other teams felt the same way. I wanted to have a good partnership with whoever I signed with.”
Heaney went 8-9 with an ERA of 5.83 in 30 appearances - 23 of them starts - with the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees last season.
As for injuries, third baseman Justin Turner will remain out until 2022, having suffered a Grade 2 left hamstring strain in Game 4 against the Braves and getting taken off the roster. The player had a difficult spell in the playoffs, going 4-for-34. However, he has been a key man for L.A over the past nine seasons.
Right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle is also expected to return next year following Tommy John’s surgery (no pun intended) while playing for the Yankees in August last year. He put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Dodgers in free agency this offseason. He missed all of last term but the Dodgers expect him to be a force when he returns to playing next year.
Caleb Ferguson, a left-handed pitcher, has also undergone Tommy John’s surgery. The player went under the knife in September last year after going through the same while in high school back in 2014. He is expected to make a return next year as well.
Another RHP recovering from Tommy John surgery, Dustin May has no timetable for a return. He was having a really impressive campaign before he had to leave a game mid-bat against the Milwaukee Brewers in early May. Scans would reveal a torn UCL and he had an operation done several days after.
Infielder Edwin Rios saw his season end after scans determined he had a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder that would require him to have surgery. It did shed light on the reason Rios had been struggling at the plate. He went hitless in his last 37 plate appearances during the season.
Meanwhile, Max Scherzer, now a free agent, will have to wait another year to have an opportunity to win the National League Cy Young Award after finishing third in the running for said accolade. Scherzer, who has already won three such trophies, finished behind Corbin Burnes, a first-time winner, and Zack Wheeler of the Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively.