AdministratorNovember 9, 2020 at 12:26 pm
The Los Angeles Dodgers are World Series Champions. For most of you reading, this is something you’ve waited your whole life for and it’s finally happened. It’s been 2 weeks now, so it’s time to look forward to what the Dodgers could do this off-season. Let’s go over free agency, possible trades, and what they should look to do.
Let’s start with their own free agents. Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, Kiké Hernandez, Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez, Jake McGee, and Jimmy Nelson.
Justin Turner is the most likely to return. He can still play 3rd base some and if the DH becomes universal moving forward he’d be good there as well since he can still hit. I could see the Dodgers going 2 years and nothing more since next year will Turner’s age 36 season. Should the Dodgers look elsewhere for 3rd base regardless of what happens to Turner? We’ll get into some options a bit later on.
Joc Pederson after almost being traded to the Angels, then having a disappointing season before coming on strong in October as he usually does. What does his market look like? Do the Dodgers bring him back? It’s hard to see that as I’m sure Joc would want a long-term deal and I don’t think the Dodgers would be in the business of giving those out. Especially to him.
Alex Wood came back after being involved in that big trade to the reds. He didn’t have a good season. He was hurt most of the year, and when he returned he was in the pen but was less than stellar in that role until the World Series. I will say, he’s pretty average during the regular season but this now the 2nd World Series he’s stepped up in. Will the Dodgers bring him back? It’s not likely for Wood.
Kiké’s season was just about like all his others, up’s and down’s. The first game of the season was remarkable from Kiké after that it was a downfall, even losing his spot to Lux who ultimately lost it to Chris Taylor. Kiké provides solid defense wherever he plays the problem for him has always been on the offensive end. Could the Dodgers bring him back? Maybe, the jury is still out on that one. He does play a lot of positions and could be a defensive replacement late in games but it would be better for him to go elsewhere to a place where he could play more. Plus a spot needs to be open for Lux and Taylor can play almost all the positions Kiké can.
Blake Treinen had a pretty strong start to the season, Tapered off a bit in the end but he’s still a solid reliever. He’s not what he was in the 2018 season for the A’s but a good middle relief option. What’s his price going to look like? He can still get ground ball’s and get a strikeout when needed. Will the Dodgers pay a big price for him or will the money be better used for a more reliable option? This one is tough to figure out, I imagine the Dodgers keep tabs on him while keeping on eye on the relief market.
Pedro Baez didn’t have the best of seasons but it was decent enough. Much like Treinen what’s his market and price tag going to look like? Baez has well-documented struggles in the postseason as well as struggles when he’s brought in with men on base. The best thing for the Dodgers to do is to let him walk but he might be cheap enough to bring him back. I don’t expect Mcgee or Nelson to be back. Mcgee was actually surprisingly good during the season but was seldomly used in the playoffs showing they didn’t really have trust in him. Jimmy Nelson was hurt all season and the Dodgers declined his offer, I think they could find someone as equally cheap, available, and better.
What the Dodgers should do:
First things first, the Dodgers should engage and try to re-sign Corey Seager before he hits free agency. Seager is a Boras client but he strikes me as a guy who likes stability, is happy here in LA and LA should be willing to pay him. Just for hypothetical purposes let’s say the Dodgers don’t want to pay and would rather save that money for Buehler and Bellinger. Could they pay all 3? Absolutely. Unfortunately, we all know how cheap these owners can be. So, back to IF the Dodgers were unwilling to extend Seager, what would they do? Do they keep him for the year, try to re-sign him after next season but risk losing him or Do they trade him this off-season? I hardly doubt they trade him but if they did I’m sure a huge deal could be made. I’ve already said im on board with the Dodgers re-signing him, and that should be the course they take.
What about this year’s crop of free agents? Big fan of DJ Lemahieu and wanted him 2 years ago, should the Dodger’s revisit this? I would say, Yes they should. Lemahieu can play 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. He’s a contact hitter who bats from the right side and the Dodgers need right-handers to balance the lineup more. Question is, what happens with Lux if the Dodgers sign Lemahieu? Well, there’s a subset of us fans that believe moving him to the outfield would be a good idea. He’s athletic and has good range it’s the arm that’s the issue, it can be hidden in the outfield and he can platoon with Pollock. Or keep Lux at 2nd, and Lemahieu plays 3rd which gives Turner the lock on the DH spot. There are different ways to go about this. The Dodgers could also sign someone like Marcus Semien, but that means putting Seager at 3rd. Would Seager be willing to do that? Idk. Maybe he wouldn’t mind and if that’s the case that opens up the Dodgers to do a few things. Semien isn’t as good as Lindor but he would be a lot cheaper, he’s right-handed and it would only cost money, and not prospects plus money. Andrelton Simmons is another option, He’s one of the best if not the best defensive shortstop, he’s not a great hitter but decent enough and much less expensive than Lindor or Semien. There’s also a 25-year old Korean star Ha-Seong Kim. This year he slashed .308/.399/.526. He had 30 home runs, and 24 doubles in 137 games. It remains to be seen how he translates but he’s young enough that it might be worth the risk to see if you strike gold. He plays shortstop and 3rd base, he’s right-handed and athletic enough to stick at short but could also move to the 3rd if necessary. Could be a risk worth taking. They just won the World Series, yes the goal is to win more but the pressure should be off, and it’s a good time to try something and see if it benefits the team. He’ll be paid quite a bit but because of all the money the Dodgers have and just winning the World Series, it’s still a Low risk, High reward type of signing. There’s also Kris Bryant who could possibly be non-tendered in the next month. If that’s the case he’s another option for 3rd who also plays the corner outfield. Unfortunately much like Turner he has injury issues that plagued him throughout his career. When healthy he can flat out hit, especially for power from the Right side. Even if he’s not non-tendered he is a trade candidate but he’d be on his last year. Bryant is someone I wanted the Dodgers to trade for last year, I have changed my stance on that but he’s still an option.
Let’s talk Gavin Lux. What do the Dodgers do with him? Again plenty of options. He gets the everyday start at 2nd, moves to left or he’s traded for a star. I still hardly doubt the Dodgers trade him for a year of Lindor, but what about trading him for Nolan Arenado. Obviously, it would take a lot more than that and it’s doubtful the Rockies would want to trade Arenado inside the division. I just think the Dodgers would rather make that kind of deal than the Lindor one. Maybe they send Lux back home to Wisconsin for Josh Hader? I could maybe see that deal as well. The Brewers get a top prospect who’s from the area, and now have their double-play combo in Lux and Hiura, while the Dodgers get a reliable and at times dominant closer that they need. Both teams win, plus the Brewers can move onto possibly using Devin Williams in that closer role.
Back to free agents, how should the Dodgers attack free agency? The bullpen is the obvious route to go. With names like Brad Hand, Liam Hendriks at the top of the list those make sense. Hand’s velocity is diminishing and he’s only 30. Liam Hendriks has had 2 good seasons but he’s already 32, however, his velocity isn’t diminishing, and has been pretty reliable for the A’s the last 2 seasons. There are also other options although there aren’t of the dominating variety. Shane Greene from the Braves and previously the Tigers who the Dodgers were linked to during the 2019 trade deadline but was ultimately traded to the Braves.
Another way for the Dodger’s to help the bullpen is for them to get sign or trade for a starting pitcher who can go deep into games and move someone like Tony Gonsolin to the bullpen. Trevor Bauer is the big name as far as pitchers go. He’s by far the best one on the market, probably the leader for the NL Cy Young award. He’s 30 but he’s said he wants to sign maximum 1-year deals. That seems to favor what the Dodgers would like, but will he really just sign 1-year deals? That remains to be seen. Even if not, a 6-year deal isn’t out of the question. He would definitely help the rotation and thus help the bullpen by being able to go deep into games. Marcus Stroman is 29 but not sure how much better he is than anyone in the rotation currently. The Dodgers could trade for Lance Lynn, who is known for going deep into games and he’s only making about 8 million this upcoming season. He’d be nothing more than a mid-rotation starter but again eating up innings is important.
As the off-season goes on I’ll breakdown players a bit more. This is just a rough outline of the Dodger’s off-season and some questions about it. What do you guys want to see the Dodgers do this off-season?
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