The San Francisco Giants made a move this week that we all figured they'd make in signing Mark Melancon to a four year, $62M "bargain". The Giants didn't go flashy with either Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen, but they went with someone that has been equally as effective.
Of course this is the big takeaway for Giants fans from this year's Winter Meetings, as the club's biggest weakness has been addressed and the team looks ready to roll into 2017. And with the way things currently sit, they have to be the favorites in the National League right beside the Chicago Cubs. The Cubbies still probably hold an edge over our boys, but that's why you play the games. On paper the Cubs are above everyone else. On the field could be a different story. If the Giants had had Madison Bumgarner able to start two games instead of just one in the NLDS, they could have prolonged the Cubs drought by another year. With Melancon on board, that should help the Giants hold onto a few more leads, and vault up the standings in the NL West.
This brings us to an interesting point. The Cubs are now the team to beat in the NL, and the team that we should probably be focused on. The Dodgers will likely make some under-the-radar moves to fill some holes this winter, but as of right now it looks as though they are at least attempting to cut back on their ridiculous spending habits. Justin Turner isn't going to be easy to replace, and if it weren't for the new CBA ready to tax the bejesus out of them, they may have already come to terms with the free agent.
The same goes for their free agent closer Kenley Jansen, who has reportedly received a big offer (in the 5 year/$80M range) from the Miami Marlins, and with the Dodgers already so far over the luxury tax, it's hard to see them matching that offer. Either Turner or Jansen isn't coming back to Los Angeles, and both have been key pieces for the team in recent years. Together they accounted for an 8.8 fWAR, which is almost on par with a typical Mike Trout year.
Of course there are other options to consider, and the Dodgers could still make some trades to bolster the club, but one way or another they are going to suffer this winter due to their previous overspending. Either their farm system gets weaker in an attempt to bring in players to help them stay competitive, or they spend money on free agents and potentially lose a draft pick if that player has a Qualifying Offer attached.
The immediate ramifications may not be significant if the Dodgers sign someone like Luis Valbuena to play third, Colby Rasmus to roam the outfield, and trade Yasiel Puig (and others) to land an upside arm for the bullpen. Those moves aren't surefire bets however, which also works in the Giants favor.
While the Giants held a press conference on Friday to introduce 2016's missing link, the Dodgers seem to be weighing their options--many of which should see them take a step back in 2017.null