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Porch Talk: Feb. 26

A weekly sports column by freelancer Connor Giblin; this week, he discusses the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pre-season
Logo+for+the+new+addition+to+the+sports+column%2C+Porch+Talk.+This+graphic+includes+reference+to+the+Los+Angeles+baseball+team+The+Dodgers.+
Mackenzie Jardine
Logo for the new addition to the sports column, “Porch Talk”. This graphic includes reference to the Los Angeles baseball team The Dodgers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have now spent just over $1.2 billion this off-season and because of it, the Dodgers have a chance to be one of the greatest baseball teams ever.

Dodgers’ general manager, Brandon Gomes, is spending money like a rich housewife. A floury of offseason moves has made it somewhat difficult to keep up with.

Gomes’ first offseason move was re-signing Max Muncy on a two year, $24 million contract. A steep price for someone who hit .212 last season; however, 36 home runs is an important factor. $24 million is still a lot.

Jayson Heyward resigned on a one-year, 9 million dollar contract, an extremely steep price, but 9 million is apparently chump change to Dodgers ownership.

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Famous mariachi, Joe Kelly resigned on a one year, 8 million dollar deal to help reinforce an absurd starting pitching staff.

Shohei Ohtani signed with the Dodgers on December 9, 2023. If this hypothetical super team that Gomes and company are building produces and pennants are hung in Los Angeles, the Ohtani signing will be remembered comparably to Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors.

Ohtani is a two-time MVP, including Clayton Kershaw, Ohtani’s two MVP campaigns brings the Dodgers team total to seven active former MVPs. Ohtani has hit 171 home runs through six major league seasons.

Tyler Glasnow, famous for his role in “Peaky Blinders”, was brought over in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Glasnow’s career ERA is just under four, but life should be easier in LA, as one could argue that the Dodgers have the best starting rotation in baseball.

One key aspect of this starting rotation is Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Yamamoto won three straight MVPs and three straight Japanese Cy Young awards while boasting a career ERA of 1.72. The Dodgers signed the NPB superstar to a 12 year, $325 million contract.

The Dodgers got their ace back on a one year deal. Walker Buehler, brother of Ferris, put pen to paper on Jan. 11. Buehler missed most of the ‘23 – ’24 season after needing Tommy John surgery for the second time. Roberts has already announced that Buehler will have a late start to the season as he continues to rehab, but hope is high in Los Angeles for the Dodgers’ former ace.

A second return from injury bid to look out for is Gavin Lux. Lux tore his ACL in a spring training game last year, leaving him sidelined for the entirety of the 2023 season.

Lux had a convincing 2022 campaign before injury, yet his time was exclusively spent at second base prior to Trea Turner’s departure. The switch from second to short is never easy; however, Lux continues to be a bright spot for the future of the Dodgers middle infield.

Dodgers’ all-star catcher, Will Smith, resigned on a one year deal worth a touch over eight million dollars. The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” “star” is worth his weight in gold for Dave Roberts as the Dodgers’ positional depth at catcher is shaky; one could convincingly argue that Smith has been the Dodgers’ most important player behind Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

The Dodgers’ October woes can directly be attributed to the lack of offense.

Gomes and the Dodgers needed another bat in the lineup in order to take some workload off of Mookie and Freddie. Muncy was the definition of streaky last season; after him, the bats dropped off significantly.

Signing Theoscar Hernandez should help with postseason woes, as having your sixth-best bat be a .260 career hitter with 159 home runs should not hurt. Hernandez signed a one year deal worth $23.5 million.

Clayton Kershaw put pen to paper on a two year, $10 million deal. The greatest Dodgers pitcher of all time will be back in blue for at least one more year and looks to erase the minds of all following his last outing.

The 35-year-old had a 2.46 ERA for his ’22 – ’23 campaign but took the brunt of the heat from the media over the Dodgers’ horrid postseason run. Kershaw’s season finale saw ⅓ innings pitched with a 162 ERA.

This season is ring or bust, and it is incontestable. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the objective front-runner, with +320 odds to get it done in October.

The Dodgers’ postseason history has reached a state of infamy; I may never watch baseball again if they get bounced in the first round. The Dodgers’ ownership group spent well over a billion dollars; anything short of a World Series Championship will be an embarrassing letdown.

Hopefully, Dave Roberts will look less confused come October.

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About the Contributors
Connor Giblin, Freelance Reporter
Mackenzie Jardine
Mackenzie Jardine, Editor-In-Chief
Hi! My name is Mackenzie Jardine, and I am really excited to connect with people through journalism. I'm very excited to be La Voz's Editor-In-Chief this winter quarter! It's an honor to be in charge of this quarter's paper and work with the incredible, hard working and talented staff. Thank you for supporting La Voz!

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