The Los Angeles Dodgers have not exactly had a lucrative offseason by any means. In recent years, LA has signed or traded for superstars such as Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts. However, signing JD Martinez and Noah Syndergaard highlight the Dodgers’ moves up to this point in the offseason. The Dodgers very well could still add more talent ahead of the regular season. But with the majority of the superstar free agents now signed, it is time to grade the Dodgers’ free agency.
Dodgers’ free agency headliners: Noah Syndergaard and JD Martinez
JD Martinez and Noah Syndergaard have been the most eye-opening free agents to sign with LA this offseason.
Martinez is an All-Star caliber hitter who is best suited for a DH role at this point in his career. He can play the corner outfield if necessary, but Dave Roberts will likely implement him as the Dodgers’ designated hitter in 2023.
Syndergaard isn’t the pitcher that he once was. However, he is aiming to return to a dominant level in 2023. Syndergaard even stated that he wants to throw 100 MPH once again this season.
“Whatever I was doing last year was not the best version of me. I see no excuse as to why I cannot get back to 100 mph and even farther than that,” Syndergaard said.
It will be intriguing to see if he can reach that level in 2023. But the fact is that the Dodgers just need him to perform at a respectable level. With Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw leading the pitching staff, Syndergaard will provide value as a back end of the rotation option.
Other free agents
The Dodgers saw star shortstop Trea Turner sign in Philadelphia with the Phillies in free agency. Additionally, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger left LA. But they have brought in some interesting talent as well, per Spotrac.
Shelby Miller was signed for relief depth. And the Dodgers are known for getting the most out of their pitchers. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Miller emerge as a bullpen star in Los Angeles.
Jason Heyward and Bradley Zimmer were both signed to minor league deals. Both players represent low-risk signings who could help replace Cody Bellinger in the outfield.
Miller might have a big impact on the bullpen. Heyward and Zimmer will be depth pieces that could play a role during the season. These are not signings that will make or break the Dodgers, but they may pan out in the long run. After all, the acquisition of Trayce Thompson was overlooked last year. But he ended up posting a superb .901 OPS over 74 games for the Dodgers.
Final thoughts and grade
The Dodgers are fresh off a 111-win 2022 campaign. Yes, they were defeated by the San Diego Padres in the postseason. But there is no question that they will be in line to compete once again despite losing a number of key players this offseason.
They have not had the best free agency in baseball. But they are making moves that will strengthen the team. JD Martinez could end up being an All-Star this season, and Noah Syndergaard is a potential X-Factor.
The Dodgers have not earned an A since they did not bring in any game-changing pieces. But their free agency has been respectable enough to warrant a decent grade.
Final grade: B-