Long criticized as a weak point, the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen was instrumental in the franchise ending their World Series drought this season, even if it came with some relief pitchers still being saddled by inconsistencies.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman worked to fortify the group ahead of the 2020 season by signing Blake Treinen and acquiring Brusdar Graterol from the Minnesota Twins. Jake McGee was then signed during the campaign once he cleared waivers.
Each of the three played a key role throughout the year, and so too did a resurgent Caleb Ferguson before requiring Tommy John surgery, as well as Pedro Baez and Dylan Floro, among others.
While the Dodgers bullpen statistically ranked among the best in baseball this season, it is a unit Friedman explained he wants to diversify, via “Power Alley” on MLB Network Radio
“It’s fairly similar every year in terms of bullpen. I think we’re able to have a really high bar in terms of the guys we have right now, but adding a reliever is something we’re going to keep an eye out on and kind of sift through. Really for us, it’s about identifying the talent in a vacuum but also then trying to get as many diversifying looks as you can in the ‘pen.
“This year we really liked our ‘pen and our ‘pen was a big part of our success. But we had almost too much overlap in terms of guys and their repertoires. Getting some diverse looks, we think is beneficial. Obviously you don’t want to sacrifice quality to do that, and that’s where we’ll be focused.”
The Dodgers presumably will see some changes in their bullpen as Baez and Treinen are free agents. So too is Jimmy Nelson, though he never threw a pitch prior to undergoing season-ending back surgery. Alex Wood, who pitched as a starter and reliever, is also on the open market.
Considering Treinen spoke fondly of the organization and was heavily leaned on, re-signing with the Dodgers wouldn’t be a stretch. Though, his profile as a sinker baller is similar to that of Graterol.
That also applies to the likes of Scott Alexander, Floro, Victor Gonzalez, Joe Kelly and Adam Kolarek as two-seam/sinker relief pitchers.
Options for Dodgers bullpen
Friedman’s remarks would seem to suggest the team is seeking a reliever who effectively throws a four-seamer. Liam Hendriks, Trevor May and Trevor Rosenthal are free agents who fit that description.
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