The loss of general manager Farhan Zaidi to the Giants hasn't kept the Dodgers from being linked to marquee acquisitions, from Bryce Harper and Corey Kluber to Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Abreu.
President of baseballl operations Andrew Friedman said again there's no rush to replace Zaidi. Friedman and club exec Josh Byrnes know the Winter Meetings drill with 17 years combined as GMs. They head up a large front office with fairly obvious needs/wants for a club coming off back-to-back World Series appearances: a rotation upgrade that can win in late October, a short-term catcher to replace Yasmani Grandal, bullpen reinforcements and possibly a right-handed bat.
As usual, most of the rumors will prove to be nothing more than that. Unless his market craters and he'll sign short term, a Harper deal for hundreds of millions of dollars would be a total and complete departure from everything this ownership has done since it bought the club. Adding Kluber alongside Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler would give the Dodgers their best top three in at least a half-century, but why would the Indians trade Kluber?
Abreu seems a longer shot after the sudden emergence of Max Muncy at first base, although Muncy could slide over to second base. Either way, Muncy figures to be playing almost every day.
With their lineage of successful Japanese pitchers, the Dodgers are an obvious landing spot for Kikuchi, whom many scouts consider to be a No. 3 MLB starter. A bullpen upgrade would be helpful, but Friedman prefers to find bargains than overpay at the position. And, the surplus of starters could turn Ross Stripling or Kenta Maeda into full-time relievers.
To date, the Dodgers have focused on extending the contracts of Kershaw and manager Dave Roberts and replacing departures from Roberts' coaching staff. Now the fun begins.