The Dodgers remade their roster at last year’s Winter Meetings, and they already have plenty of irons in the fire for this year’s, the Los Angeles News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra writes. They need at least one starting pitcher, and maybe two, with Zack Greinke headed to the Diamondbacks. They could also address the second base position, and Hoornstra writes that he doesn’t see them re-signing Howie Kendrick, since they want to get younger next season. Here’s more from the NL West.
- The Dodgers are looking for starting pitching for the second offseason in a row, but they haven’t yet landed any of the key starting pitchers to sign either this winter or last, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes. Though the Dodgers did make a fairly hefty bid for Greinke, they’ve operated cautiously when it comes to big free agent contracts. “Obviously with the free agent market – if you look back over time it hasn’t necessarily resulted in helping teams win in October. There’s just not that high a correlation between it,” Dodgers exec Andrew Friedman said last week. “On one hand, by making big splashy deals you win the winter headlines. But more often than not, you aren’t having a parade at the end of October.”
- The Giants might have overpaid for Jeff Samardzija, whose $90MM deal appears to compensate him more for potential than performance, ESPN’s Keith Law writes (Insider-only). Samardzija’s size and stuff suggest he can be an ace, and if that’s what happens, $90MM will look like a pittance. He does not, however, have a track record commensurate with the amount the Giants have committed to pay him. Matt Cain’s recent struggles with the team demonstrate how risky long-term deals for pitchers can be, and Cain appeared to be far less risky than Samardzija is.
- Nonetheless, Samardzija fills a big hole in the Giants’ rotation, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. “This guy is a horse,” says GM Bobby Evans. “Even in tough times, and what they were doing in Chicago last year, he still put 200-plus innings on the board. His numbers may have been affected by (being in the) third place he’s pitched in in two years. There may be some mechanical adjustments he needs to make.”
- In an interview with FanGraphs’ David Laurila, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich shares a number of thoughts about how to win at altitude. The takeaway is that he generally believes the traits needed to succeed at Coors Field aren’t that different from the traits needed to succeed anywhere else. He does say, however, that the equation might be slightly different for hitters than for pitchers. “Our history shows that there isn’t one specific algorithm, or equation, for a pitcher that equals success here,” he says. “For position players, yeah, I would say that there are. But that’s not something I wish to talk about here. Some of that is proprietary as to how we look at players. With both, probably the best answer is, ‘To a certain degree.’”