PHOENIX – The Los Angeles Dodgers’ top decision-makers spent most of the first day of the general managers meetings at the team’s Glendale, Arizona, complex. The top brass watched an Arizona Fall League game that included the Dodgers' top position-player prospect, Corey Seager.
Afterward, they made it clear that they view the shortstop position as a puzzle to be solved between now and February. Much as they like Seager, they don’t view him as an Opening Day possibility, and both Erisbel Arruebarrena and Miguel Rojas would be a major risk as an everyday option. Rojas batted .181 and Arruebarrena has played just 22 major league games and is viewed as a bit of an off-field liability after some of his maturity issues in the minor leagues.
Hanley Ramirez rejected the Dodgers’ $15.3 million qualifying offer Monday and, according to a source, there has been no internal dialogue about retaining Ramirez on a multiyear deal. The Dodgers will take the compensatory draft pick they get for losing Ramirez and move on.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team has begun to check in both on the free-agent market -- which is thin -- and the trade market for shortstops. The Dodgers are believed to have expressed interest in the Chicago White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez. Free agent Jed Lowrie could be a fit. In both cases, the acquisition might simply be a stopgap until Seager is ready, assuming he doesn’t move to third base.
“The limited supply at the position makes it hard to put a lot of rules on it,” Friedman said. “We’re going to try to acquire the best player we can and, if we wind up having depth there, that’s a good problem to have.”
General manager Farhan Zaidi described the Dodgers’ pursuit of both shortstops and starting pitchers as “preliminary.”
“I think it’s easy to say we’re in the same spot, which is starting to evaluate the options,” Zaidi said.