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Three issues for the Dodgers to resolve in 2022 

– After they came up just two wins short of getting back to the World Series in 2021, the LA Dodgers may feel as though they have unfinished business to take care of in 2022.

According to sidelines.io and many other betting and sports analysis sites, they are among the favorites once again, but there are some issues that they need to resolve as they go into Spring Training.

Can they sign Freddie Freeman?

At the outset of the offseason, it seemed like Freddie Freeman and the Braves would reach an agreement on a long-term contract. However, that was not to be and the Braves’ trade for Matt Olson means that Freeman’s stint in Atlanta is over.

Before the lockout, the Dodgers had done their homework on the first baseman. Freeman grew up in Orange County, so the chance to be closer to his hometown may appeal to him. The Dodgers have some spare money for the roster after Corey Seager signed with the Rangers and Max Scherzer left for the Mets. Freeman would certainly fill a need in the lineup that has been identified: a left-handed hitter in the middle of the order. But will they go for him?

Who will be the closer?

The Dodgers have depended on Kenley Jansen as their main closer since 2012, but they will need to figure out a strategy for the ninth inning now that the veteran reliever is a free agent and likely to join somewhere on a hefty deal.

On the surface, moving Blake Treinen from setup to closer looks to be the correct decision. Treinen pitched to a 1.99 ERA in 72 regular-season outings last season. The Dodgers, on the other hand, could prefer to retain Treinen in the game’s highest-leverage situations rather than just in the ninth inning.

Brusdar Graterol and Tommy Kahnle may be able to obtain more save chances as a result of this. In 2021, Graterol had a great second half, while Kahnle was out for the full season due to Tommy John surgery. This spring, he is anticipated to be a full participant, so could be in line to be closer.

What will the rotation be?

The Dodgers’ rotation will be led by Julio Uras, Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw next season – that much we do know. What we don’t know is how the Dodgers will round out their opening lineup.

Andrew Heaney was signed to a one-year agreement and will have every chance to earn a position in the rotation, but he’ll have to overcome his home run issue from last season. Tony Gonsolin will also be considered, providing he’s completely recovered from a shoulder ailment that kept him out all of last season. David Price could start, but at this point in his career, he may be better suited to the bullpen.

Kershaw’s comeback provides much-needed assistance to the Dodgers. However, there is still some mystery surrounding Trevor Bauer, as MLB continues to investigate sexual assault allegations leveled against the right-hander. The other available options are Andre Jackson, Mitch White, Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove, Bobby Miller and Landon Knack. In 2021, Jackson and White gained crucial experience, but Pepiot, Miller, Grove and Knack had yet to play in the majors.

Whether any of them will earn a rotation spot will be one of the many questions that the Dodgers will have to answer in the next few weeks, and sports fans will be watching developments keenly.

 

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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.