After a dizzying 24 hour period during the Winter Meetings, the new sheriff and his deputies have run a few favorite Dodgers out of town and welcomed some strangers to Dodgertown.
Kemp, Gordon, Haren and others including FedEx and Rojas are gone. Brandon McCarthy, Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and some young pitchers and other prospects are now on the roster.
With Joc Pedersen expected to man center field in 2015, along with Rollins at Short and Kendrick at 2nd, it is widely agreed that the Dodgers will be stronger defensively up the middle. Offensively, the departure of Kemp and Hanley Ramirez left a big hole that has not been filled completely.
While Pedersen has been eagerly awaited, I am not convinced that he is ready for major league pitching, as evidenced by his huge strikeout rate in Albuquerque and his several plate appearances with the Dodgers last September. From all I have heard, his defensive play should be fine.
Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick are solid additions. According to Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, Rollins thrives in crucial situations and will take it up a notch when playing the Giants or other big games. Kendrick has been overshadowed on the Angels by big bats like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but he brings a nice batting line with him. Brandon McCarthy is a good mid-rotation pitcher that should fit nicely behind Kershaw, Grienke and Ryu.
How do you feel about the changes so far? Stay tuned, Andrew Friedman and company are not done yet.