|Who is making the best winter moves?|
With 4ish weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report for spring training, I thought it would be a good time to check in on the moves the Dodgers and Giants have made so far this winter. Today, I will discuss starting pitching. Later this week, I will bring you my thoughts about the bullpens and position players the two teams have acquired so far.
Hell, yes, I'm on the Dodgers now!
How does hair even do this?
Don't say a word about my funky leg kick.
This is my sexy look.
The Dodgers started the winter with two pitching losses. Well, sort of. Of course, we all know Zack Greinke bolted for the big bucks in Arizona (what a lame choice he made, they will NEVER win a World Series), leaving a huge hole in the starting rotation. Then the Adrolis Chapman free agent signing went sideways (backing out of this deal was a smart move by the Dodgers, as they don't need another potential distraction and malcontent on the team), keeping the team from adding a major piece to the backend of the bullpen. But the braintrust rebounded in the winter market by signing Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda to a primarily incentive-based, team-friendly contract; he very nicely fills the number 2 slot in the rotation with a resume that includes the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young award last year. Solid free agent lefty, Scott Kazmir, will slide perfectly into the 3 slot. Hold-overs Brett Anderson and Alex Wood will round out the rotation with the reliable Hyun-Jin Ryu probably taking over one of their spots when he returns from surgery rehab in May or June. Fingers crossed on Ryu because he gives the team the solid fourth starter they were missing in last year's playoffs.
Winter Acquisition Starting Pitching Advantage:
I give the slight edge to the Dodgers. Cueto and Maeda will bring about the same value to both teams, as will Samardzija and Kazmir. However, Kazmir has something to play for, giving the Dodgers the advantage. This is a walk-year for Kazmir because he can opt out of his 2-year deal and enter a weak free agent market in 2017, and hit the jackpot if he has a big 2016 season; whereas, Samardzija, just got his big payday from the Giants (5 years, $90 million). Money motivation is everything in today's MLB, no two ways about it.
Up later this week: How each team has fared so far in the winter market with bullpens and position players. Until then, I hope to hear from you in the comment section, and please share the link to my blog with your baseball friends!