After being swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers enter the offseason aiming to make a franchise-altering acquisition. Time will tell if they can secure their top target, but here’s one trade and one signing the Dodgers should make this winter.
Trade: Acquire Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena and RHP Tyler Glasnow
Although the Dodgers are considered a strong contender for Shohei Ohtani, whose free-agent decision is “imminent,” per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, they need to be prepared if the two-time American League MVP signs elsewhere. Such a scenario could come to fruition, as Morosi reported during an appearance on “Hot Stove” that the Toronto Blue Jays “have certainly improved their standing” on Ohtani in recent days.
The Dodgers have cut payroll for years in anticipation of landing Ohtani, and should they fail to do so, they’ll have to come up with an exceptional alternative. While they’d have plenty of cash to burn on Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto if that’s the case, the Dodgers have the prospect capital to execute a blockbuster trade. Entering his final season under team control, Glasnow is expected to be traded this offseason, and Arozarena could also be shipped off.
Glasnow (3.53 ERA across 21 starts last season) would be a risky acquisition, given that he has only pitched over 100 innings twice in his career. Nonetheless, the Dodgers have substantial uncertainty surrounding their rotation, with Walker Buehler, Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot being the only ones guaranteed starting roles. When healthy, Glasnow is one of the most electric pitchers in baseball, and he fits the mold of a player the Dodgers typically take a chance on before developing them into an All-Star.
Meanwhile, Arozarena, who hit .254 with 23 home runs and 83 RBI during his 2023 All-Star season, would fill the corner outfield need MLB.com’s Juan Toribio reports is “a priority” the Dodgers want to address. Since star infielders Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman went a combined 1-for-21 at the plate in the NLDS, adding a player with Arozarena’s postseason track record would be a no-brainer. In 33 career postseason games, Arozarena has a .336 batting average with 11 homers and 17 RBI.
Signing: Bring back designated hitter J.D. Martinez
The 36-year-old signed a one-year, $10 million prove-it deal with the Dodgers last offseason and ultimately became another successful reclamation project under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Not only did the six-time All-Star slash .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs and 103 RBI, but his 135 wRC+ (MLB average is 100) was the highest he’s posted since 2019.
Despite his resurgence, the Dodgers opted not to extend the $20.3 million qualifying offer to Martinez, likely knowing he’d accept it, which would’ve created an expensive logjam if they were to win the Ohtani sweepstakes. But if Ohtani is out of the picture, re-signing Martinez makes sense for both sides — and would keep him out of a division rival’s hands. According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, the Diamondbacks are interested in a Martinez reunion of their own, so should Los Angeles miss out on the two-way sensation, it must move quickly to sign Martinez.
Based on past comparable free-agent signings, Spotrac’s calculated market value projects Martinez to ink a one-year, $15.5 million contract this offseason. a reasonable price, especially if he produces another 30-homer season. Considering such a deal would prevent Martinez from causing them any harm down the road, it’d be a fair price for the Dodgers to pay, especially if he produces another 30-homer season.