Dodgers Dugout: Winter meetings were a complete disaster for Dodgers

Farhan Zaidi, left, and Andrew Friedman.

Farhan Zaidi, left, and Andrew Friedman.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, wondering why the Dodgers were about as active at the winter meetings as I was.

No news is good news?

In case you missed it, here are the highlights from the flurry of activity for the Dodgers during the winter meetings:





That’s not entirely fair. They did agree to terms with pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and brought back Chase Utley for one year at $7 million, good money for a guy who hit .202 with the team last season.

So, to sum up:

1. They allowed Zack Greinke to walk because they didn't want to pay him to pitch through age 37.

2. They brought in an injury-plagued pitcher who is not nearly as good as the healthy-by-comparison Greinke, and are paying him to pitch through age 37.

3. They brought back a guy whose only contribution to the team was breaking the leg of an opposing shortstop.

4. They tried to trade for Aroldis Chapman, but the deal fell apart when it turned out MLB is investigating him for alleged domestic abuse, including going into his garage and firing a gun multiple times.

Job well done. Meanwhile, in addition to signing Greinke, Arizona acquired Shelby Miller in a trade. The Angels acquired an infielder who hits over .300, Yunel Escobar, the Mets acquired infielder Neil Walker, the Mariners acquired Adam Lind, the Cubs signed John Lackey and Ben Zobrist, the Astros acquired Phillies closer Ken Giles and the White Sox traded for Brett Lawrie, and that’s just a few of the moves other teams made.

This off-season has been a tremendous train wreck for the Dodgers. Not only did they lose Greinke and fail to acquire a decent replacement for him, but they also told their incumbent closer, Kenley Jansen, that they don’t have full confidence in him, because all signs pointed to them making Chapman the closer and moving Jansen to set-up man.

Now they are apparently turning their attention to Johnny Cueto, who is a bit overrated but would certainly help. Because right now the rotation is Clayton Kershaw and a bunch of No. 4 starters.

There is still time to turn things around, but this is getting pretty frustrating. I preached patience in the last newsletter, but that’s when I thought the Dodgers brass would certainly be doing something at the winter meetings. Instead, not much was done, and whenever Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi talk, they don’t give the impression that winning this season is an urgency. They still seem to be building for the future. At this rate, they won’t be around to enjoy it.

But don’t just believe me. Go read what Bill Plaschke says about it.

Friedman’s excited

Friedman talked about the winter meetings, and the sense out there that Arizona has a better team than the Dodgers. "We're really excited about the core we have in place. The core group of guys, we feel, is a championship-caliber core." And can they win the NL West if they don’t make any big additions? "Yeah, definitely."

So that's why

Greinke explained his decision to leave the Dodgers like this at the news conference introducing him to the Diamondbacks media Friday: When the Diamondbacks called, he said, “It got me excited.” Why? Because he liked the Diamondbacks last season. “I guess it started around the All-Star break, or a little before the All-Star break, last season and the Dodgers were playing Arizona and I just was watching all their position players run around making all these great catches, taking extra bases like crazy against us and then you look at the leaderboard and they had the best offense in the game, scored the most runs, so I was like, ‘Dang, that’s a pretty impressive group of guys they got over there,’ and just realized it then.”

I don't think any of that will endear him to Dodgers fans.

And finally

The Dodgers will extend the protective netting behind home plate next season. It will now reach to the closest edge of each dugout.

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston