The Los Angeles Dodgers have made it publicly known that they plan to improve their already star-studded team further at any cost this offseason. They already won negotiating rights with Korean starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and aren't stopping there.
The Dodgers should have a pretty lengthy wish list. Could a star outfielder from a former rival be topping the list now? Are some big-name starting pitchers still on the radar? Read on to find out!
Here are five players they will definitely be asking Santa for this Christmas:
It's no secret that the Dodgers are in the market for a good free-agent starter to complement Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett. Lately, Sanchez has been a name cropping up on social media as a good fit.
The righty earned a pretty hefty payday with a solid postseason performance for Detroit, but chances are he would regress to being a third starter again, even in a pitcher's park like Dodger Stadium.
Luckily, the Dodgers don't really have a budget and can pay the price to try to coax Sanchez into signing for a few years in Los Angeles. Best-case scenario, the Dodgers significantly improve the front of the rotation; worst-case, they upgrade the back for way too much money.
The veteran corner infielder had his option declined by the White Sox after the season ended, to absolutely nobody's surprise. Though Youk was a spark plug for a while with Chicago, he once again proved that he is a shell of his former self.
While Youkilis presents an intriguing upgrade at third base over Luis Cruz (I disagree for multiple reasons, but that's an article for another day), I can not endorse the Dodgers spending that much money on a declining bat like his.
Despite all that, Youkilis is clearly on the Dodgers' wish list, as they have been looking for help on the left side of the infield, and were reportedly interested in him last week, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (h/t HardBallTalk).
There is no doubt that Greinke is the most coveted free-agent arm out there this winter, and the Los Angeles Angels will be one of many teams pushing hard to get him. The team that ends up signing him may just be the highest bidder, regardless of location or projection.
With that in mind, the Dodgers have to be among the favorites to land the former Cy Young winner's services. My question is if he can handle a full season in Los Angeles, and if so, can he consistently win games for the length of what would surely be a long contract?
I'm sure the Dodgers will be gunning for the best pitcher on the market, and he definitely tops their free-agent wish list. They may still be looking into a trade for either James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays, but Greinke would be the biggest potential move by a mile.
In a rumor that has since cooled a bit (Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times), the Dodgers were said to be interested in a two-year deal with former Angel and free agent Torii Hunter. Along with that rumor came another Ethier-on-the-block tweet, which has also since been refuted by Ned Colletti.
The newest indication is that Hunter, a good friend of Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, would only be brought on as a fourth outfielder. With so many other teams pining for his services, I doubt he ends up a Dodger, but you never know.
If the Dodgers were able to snag one of the better veterans off the free-agent market and convince him to take that reduced role somehow, it would be a huge pickup.
One can only hope that the Dodgers get Kuroda to return to Chavez Ravine after one year in the Bronx. I, for one, would love to welcome back an old friend to Los Angeles (especially after his impressive season as a Yankee).
Most reports seem to indicate that Kuroda will either re-sign in New York or return to Japan. But last season, he said it was either Japan or back to L.A. on a new contract. Yet, he stayed in America and was brilliant for the Yanks.
Kuroda might be an even more attractive target for the Dodgers than Sanchez, given his familiarity with the team and division and consistent stats in the major leagues. According to Jon Heyman on Twitter, the Dodgers have made Kuroda a priority this winter.
For more Dodger talk, follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman!