The Los Angeles Dodgers may have spent over $1 billion this offseason, but their roster is far from complete heading into the 2024 season.
The Dodgers could still use another starting pitcher, another right-handed bat and a little more help in the bullpen.
Those are the current “holes.”
A non-hole on the roster is the closer position, as Evan Phillips manned that position very nicely in 2023.
However, Phillips was a bit worse in 2023 than he was in 2022, a year in which he played the versatile role as the team’s “fireman” option.
So, the Dodgers could opt to add a true closer this offseason, a move that would allow Phillips to return to his utility role. And they have tons of options.
The undisputed best closer on the market is Josh Hader, and the Dodgers have been linked with him all offseason.
The Dodgers have also been linked to premier closers on the trade market, including Emmanuel Clase of the Cleveland Guardians and old friend Kenley Jansen of the Boston Red Sox.
With all these rumors aplenty, our own Doug McKain broke down all the best options for the Dodgers, and who they should or should not target in terms of closers.
You can watch the full breakdown on the Dodgers Nation YouTube Channel by clicking the video at the top of the article, or by clicking right here.
McKain is firm no-go on Jansen, as the Dodgers don’t need to trade prospects to bring back the 36-year-old who wouldn’t even be a more stable option than Phillips.
As for Clase, McKain knows the price would be huge, and it’s tough to trade tons of top prospects for a closer.
In terms of Hader, though, McKain is interested, but only at the right price.
He says that the Dodgers should absolutely sign Hader if he “falls into their lap,” meaning he doesn’t get the record-breaking contract he’s looking for.
McKain thinks that Hader would be the perfect option for the Dodgers’ pen, and would potentially be more open to a versatile role.
While Hader was firm on always pitching the ninth inning for San Diego last year, McKain believes that was just to raise his value in free agency.
Since he’ll have signed his big deal this offseason, McKain believes Hader would be more open to playing matchups for the Dodgers, potentially pitching some eighth innings if Dave Roberts wanted him out there against lefties. That would still leave someone like Phillips to pitch the ninth.
Hader would definitely be a luxury more than a need at this point, but the Dodgers are going all-in this offseason. Why not get arguably the best closer in baseball to feel even more confident in the later innings?
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports