Game Day: A much-needed offseason for the Dodgers

Editor’s note: This is the Thursday Nov. 10 edition of the “Game Day with Kevin Modesti” newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.

Good morning. What does it say when you look forward to the Dodgers’ offseason more than you look forward to the Dodgers’ season?

Some thoughts on that after the headlines:

The Clippers got another win over the Lakers, who slipped to 2-9 and saw LeBron James leave with an injury in the fourth quarter.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford entered concussion protocol, but coach Sean McVay said he could be ready to play Sunday against the Cardinals.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert, meanwhile, keeps getting closer to 100% after his early-season rib injury.
The Ducks fell into last place in the Pacific Division with a loss on home ice to the Wild.
LAFC midfielder Kellyn Acosta is one of 26 players named to the U.S. roster for the World Cup, opening Nov. 21.
And check your local Southern California News Group paper for the latest on CIF Southern Section football playoffs and college commitments by top athletes yesterday.

It might not only be some Dodgers fans but many baseball fans who are going to need all winter to get excited about the 2023 regular season after 2022 proved to be such a tease, leading to playoff disappointment for top teams before the Astros restored order by winning the World Series.

For those of us who feel that way, this winter should provide plenty to get us recharged.

Our baseball writers, Bill Plunkett, Jeff Fletcher and J.P. Hoornstra, have been covering the early moves and setting the stage for what’s ahead.

The biggest questions to be answered between now and opening day March 30 include whether last season’s expansion of the playoffs to 12 teams will change how teams approach the regular season, how next season’s ban on defensive shifts will affect how clubs evaluate hitters, the impact of the new draft lottery and, of course, where top free agents will go.

The Angels’ priorities include building up the batting order around Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout and improving the bullpen, but GM Perry Minasian dampened one piece of potential drama by saying Ohtani won’t be traded this offseason.

No problem. The Dodgers have enough potential drama to heat all of Southern California for the winter. And the first act is coming as we speak.

Facing Major League Baseball’s first major deadline of the offseason, the Dodgers have until today to decide whether to exercise the option in Justin Turner’s contract and keep the third baseman and designated hitter for 2023 at a $16 million salary, or possibly try to negotiate a lower salary for the soon-to-be 38-year-old mainstay of their nine division titles in 10 years.

Even more emotional will be the decision, by the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, about whether the 34-year-old will pitch a 16th season for them or, in the most likely alternative, play the last act of his Hall of Fame career with his hometown Texas Rangers.

But the main question for the Dodgers, and one of the biggest of the offseason in baseball, is whether shortstop Trea Turner stays or goes as a likely $30 million-a-season free agent. Hoornstra writes about Turner’s value and what might sway the decision for him and the Dodgers. Plunkett writes about what it means for the rest of the Dodgers’ offseason if they do or don’t re-sign Turner, and what other direction they could go in a year when free-agent shortstops include the Twins’ Carlos Correa, Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts and Braves’ Dansby Swanson.

I’ll admit I groaned when Plunkett tweeted after the last out of the World Series: “Pitchers and catchers report (for spring training) in 100 days.” That didn’t sound like long enough to recover from the whiplash of a season in which four teams won 100 or more games in the regular season, led by the Dodgers with 111, and three crashed out of the playoffs by the second round.

But how soon we start looking forward to next season will depend on what happens in this offseason.

General managers have been meeting in Las Vegas this week, and the winter meetings are Dec. 5-7 in San Diego. Awards will be announced next week, MVPs a week from today. Hall of Fame decisions will be made.

Stay up to date with our seasoned team of baseball writers online (Dodgers news here, Angels here) and on Twitter (@billplunkettocr, @JeffFletcherOCR and @JPHoornstra).


USC and Alabama State both are 0-1 coming into the basketball game at the Galen Center (8 p.m., Pac12N). Here’s a preview.


Yesterday’s newsletter asked: Are the College Football Playoff rankings correct to have USC at No. 8 and UCLA at No. 12? Is one school or both underrated or overrated?

Tom Courts responded: “UCLA should be 9 and USC 10. USC lost to the 13th-ranked team and has no top 25 wins, while UCLA lost to the sixth-ranked team and has a top 25 win. LSU and Alabama have no business in the top 10, total SEC bias.”


If you bet on sports, are you affected by the defeat of ballot propositions 26 and 27, which sought to legalize sports gambling in California? Why do you think they lost? What should happen next? Respond by email ( or on Twitter (@KevinModesti).


I covered the Lakers for nine years starting in 2013-14. That… was a lot of bad basketball. This is the worst Lakers team I’ve ever seen.

— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 10, 2022

– Former SCNG Lakers beat writer Bill Oram (@billoram), now a columnist with The Oregonian, after last night’s loss to the Clippers.

1,000 WORDS

Keepaway: Newport Harbor High’s Finn Lesieur holds the ball away from Harvard-Westlake’s Daniel Mnatsakanian during Newport Harbor’s 11-8 victory in a CIF-SS Open Division playoff semifinal yesterday at Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine. Photo is by Jeff Gritchen of the Orange County Register and SCNG.


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Editor’s note: Thanks for reading the “Game Day with Kevin Modesti” newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.

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