The Dodgers have shown some interest in free-agent lefty Brad Hand, tweets MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. While the early interest in the former All-Star closer is somewhat notable it’s also not much of a surprise; the Dodgers generally have been willing to spend money on high-profile free relievers in recent years — Joe Kelly and Blake Treinen among them — and Hand’s track record is likely appealing to just about any contender despite the fact that he went unclaimed on waivers. It’s certainly possible that Hand could yet find a multi-year deal at an annual value lower than the $10MM sum he’d have commanded in 2021 had he been claimed off waivers, or even at a similar rate but with some of the guaranteed dollars pushed out beyond year one of the arrangement. The Dodgers are set to lose Blake Treinen, Jake McGee, Alex Wood and Pedro Baez to free agency, so it’s likely that they’ll be connected to myriad relievers in the coming weeks and months. Hand, 30, posted a 2.05 ERA and 29-to-4 K/BB ratio in 22 innings this past season but also saw his average fastball dip to 91.4 mph — two full miles per hour slower than in 2018.
More on the Dodgers…
- While many have assumed that Justin Turner will eventually re-up with the Dodgers, Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times cautions that a reunion isn’t quite a given. The presence of some high-profile trade options, including Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado, gives the Dodgers alternative scenarios to explore if they prefer a younger option at the hot corner. The O.C. Register’s J.P. Hoornstra feels similarly, adding that Turner’s return could in some ways be dependent on the implementation (or lack thereof) of the universal designated hitter for the 2021 season. Francisco Lindor’s presence on the trade market gives the Dodgers yet another possibility to mull, he notes, as it’s possible that Corey Seager could slide to third base. Turner may still return to Los Angeles in 2021, but he’s just one of many options for the Dodgers to consider.
- Hoornstra also notes that the Dodgers’ prior conversations with the Indians regarding Lindor have advanced beyond the “tire-kicking” stage of talks, but that was when Lindor was more than a one-year rental. The team’s willingness to part with considerable young talent for a one-year player less than 12 months after doing so to acquire Mookie Betts can’t be fully known. Obviously the Dodgers convinced Betts to stay in Los Angeles long term, but the same can’t be guaranteed for Lindor. And while both Lindor and Arenado will be regularly linked to the Dodgers throughout the winter, Hoornstra opines that Lindor is a much more plausible fit, citing the Rockies’ likely reluctance to trade a franchise player to their chief division rival. Both pieces from Castillo and Hoornstra are well worth a full read to get a more in-depth sense of the Dodgers’ options regarding the left side of their infield.