A list of the notable free agents that have been signed so far:
- C Russell Martin
- 1B Adam LaRoche
- 1B/DH Billy Butler
- 3B Pablo Sandoval
- LF/SS/whatever Hanley Ramirez
- OF Michael Cuddyer
- OF Chris Young
- DH Victor Martinez
- SP A.J. Burnett
- RP Zach Duke
- RP Joel Hanrahan
Toss in the Jason Heyward/Shelby Miller and Josh Donaldson/Brett Lawrie trades, and that’s the sum of the offseason’s movement so far. Why am I sharing these lists with you? Because people seem to be freaking out that the Dodgers haven’t done anything larger than trade for Joel Peralta and Juan Nicasio.
But then, when you really look at those names, most of them have no relevance to the Dodgers. Certainly, the 1B/DH/OF guys were never a consideration with the way this roster is put together, and third base probably isn’t high on the list. Ramirez’s time had clearly come to an end in Los Angeles. Burnett has long refused to pitch on the West Coast. Hanrahan pitched 7.1 innings last year. Duke was intriguing, but also turned a decade of mediocrity plus one good year into three guaranteed years.
Really, it’s Martin that’s the only player who is no longer available that could be considered a missed opportunity to improve, and I don’t imagine very many of us desperately wish the Dodgers had topped Toronto’s five year, $82 million offer. Which is to say: I totally understand that Mike Bolsinger and Adam Liberatore aren’t big-ticket names that are going to generate excitement, but what matters is the moves that are made, not when the moves are made. If the Dodgers go out and sign, say, Andrew Miller or Jon Lester to a deal we all like, it’s not going to make a damn bit of difference if that move happens on Nov. 15 or Dec. 15. When the team takes the field in April for Opening Day, you won’t even remember what date the new players joined the team.
Zack Greinke didn’t officially sign with the team until Dec. 10, 2012, don’t forget. Hyun-jin Ryu signed the day before. (What a 48 hours, in retrospect.) J.P. Howell signed on Jan. 7, 2013, and re-upped on Dec. 20, 2013. Brian Wilson signed on Dec. 7, 2013. Juan Uribe didn’t come back until Dec. 24, 2013.
There’s plenty of time, is the point, especially since we haven’t even hit the winter meetings yet. If the calendar turns from 2014 to 2015 and the Dodgers still haven’t done anything of importance, then I’ll be there with you wondering what the plan is. But for now, as difficult as it might be, patience is required. I’m sure we’d all rather have a lack of moves than have to complain about a terrible early move, right? After all, it was only Nov. 22 when Juan Pierre signed his ill-fated five year deal back in 2006.