The LA Dodgers were not as active as expected in the offseason ahead of this season. Even while the team’s key players, such as Trey Turner and Justin Turner, left, they did not reinforce their power accordingly. To be precise, it saved money.
I felt the will to reset the luxury tax (wealth tax) standard and aim for free agent (FA) players in 2024, including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels). In the meantime, the money was spent passively, and instead, the Dodgers’ unique ‘regeneration factory’ ran. Representative players include Noah Syndergaard (31) on the mound and Jason Hayward (34) on the other line. Players who came down from their heyday were used as the winners of the conversion.
Syndergaard, once famously nicknamed 메이저사이트“Thunder” for throwing 100 miles per hour (161 km), was drifting after losing that velocity. He went 10-10 with an ERA of 3.94 in 25 games last year as well. All of the restraint and skills of the past did not come out. The speed of the four-seam fastball, which once reached an average of 98.6 miles (about 158.7 km), fell to 94.1 miles (about 151.4 km) last year. It was no longer ‘Thunder’.
Hayward, who was once chosen as a genius hitter representing the league, went downhill after signing an eight-year, $184 million (approximately 241.7 billion won) contract with the Chicago Cubs in 2016. After moving to the Cubs, he suffered from sluggishness and stayed with a batting average of 0.245 and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.700 in 744 games for 7 years. During this period, Hayward’s contribution to victory (WAR) for the Cubs was only 9.0. It was an obvious contract failure, and he was shabbyly dismissed soon after.
However, the Dodgers believed in the possibility of a rebound in the two players and recruited them. Syndergaard signed a one-year, $13 million contract, and Hayward was signed on a minor league contract. The two players, who have been highly evaluated since spring training, are putting their names on the opening roster side by side to announce a good start.
Syndergaard pitched well with 4 hits, 6 strikeouts and 1 run in 6 innings against Arizona on the 3rd (Korean time). He did not become a winning pitcher, but he was able to block Arizona’s batting line after showing good command by adjusting his pace even with a slower velocity than last year. It was a game that showed the potential that Syndergaard could be designed as a new pitcher, even if his velocity didn’t work the way it used to.
Despite the minor league contract, Hayward, who was used as a key player from the time of the demonstration game, announced a good start to the season by reporting an excellent two-runner in the game against Arizona on the 4th. He does not have the athletic ability of his childhood, but he is proving that his sense of watching baseball is still brilliant. In his first 3 games, he showed promise with a batting average of .333, 1 home run, 3 RBIs and an OPS of 1.119. Since he is not a full-time main player anyway, he is showing that a comeback is possible if he is used well in the right place.