Remember last offseason, after Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, and friends came in to replace Ned Colletti? Looking back on it now, you probably recall it as a whirlwhind, with Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Hanley Ramirez, Brian Wilson, Jose Dominguez, & Chris Perez (among others) out the door, and Howie Kendrick, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Nicasio, Chris Hatcher, Enrique Hernandez, Mike Bolsinger, & Joel Peralta (again, among others) coming in.
But that’s not how it felt at the time, at least up until the winter meetings. On Dec. 2, 2014, I actually had to write a post called “Don’t Panic About Lack Of Dodger Offseason Moves,” because as free agents like Russell Martin, Zach Duke, and Pablo Sandoval came off the board (plus the Josh Donaldson and Jason Heyward trades), fans were becoming impatient and concerned that the only moves had been minor ones for Peralta, Nicasio, and Adam Liberatore. Every time a small move was made, no matter how much it made sense, the reaction was, “but what about [major roster issue]!?!” as though one precluded the other.
Of course, in the weeks that followed, all hell broke loose, and a mere 18 days later, the post I was writing was called “Look How Different The Dodgers Roster Is Now,” because, it was:
So much has happened, hasn’t it? It’s honestly hard to keep it all straight. You’d think that trading franchise icon Matt Kemp would be a big enough shock by itself, but no, the Dodgers had to go and do 15 other things at the same time.
Anyway, I was reminded of this last week when Dustin suggested that Heyward ought to be a big focus of the offseason, because a lot of the feedback was, “why are we talking about outfielders when the team has one solid reliable starting pitcher?”
That, to me, misses the point. I don’t know what the first move of the offseason will be, but it’s almost certain to be something minor, some one-year deal or a small trade or minor-league invite. (Remember that the first move of the new regime, a year ago today, was to claim infielder Ryan Jackson off waivers from San Diego. He lasted barely three weeks before being DFA’d and dealt to Kansas City for cash.) That’s neither unexpected nor unusual. The big fish don’t get moved until early December, or later, every year.
All of which is to say: When Opening Day rolls around, you’ll care if Zack Greinke or David Price or Ben Zobrist are wearing Dodger blue. You won’t care what order they arrived in. Moves are going to happen in the order they’re available, not in the order of their importance. It’s the same every year.