Seven Dodgers became free agents after the season, including a few long-time contributors. As a parting gift, they all at least get to call themselves World Series Champions, but according to experts, some key contributors could be returning to LA for 2021.
On Friday, ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield made his offseason predictions for all 30 MLB teams. For the Dodgers, the first name he lists feels almost like a given, but the second name might come as somewhat of a surprise.
The experts say that LA will re-sign free agents Justin Turner and Joc Pederson.
Here’s what ESPN had to say.
The Dodgers have several worthy free agents to consider bringing back, and while I think they’ll ultimately let Blake Treinen and Kiké Hernandez walk, the depressed free-agent market should allow them to re-sign Turner and Pederson. In Hernandez’s case, the Dodgers have to open second base for Gavin Lux, and Chris Taylor can fill the utility role. Pederson is one season removed from hitting 36 home runs, and his big postseason is a reminder that having a power left-handed platoon bat around is valuable for depth and in-game maneuvering.
With no obvious choice to take over full time at third base, JT returning makes sense. But for Pederson, the path to playing time seems less obvious. While the platoon in left field has worked well in the past, AJ Pollock’s solid rebound in 2020 seems to be enough to hand him the keys to the everyday role in 2021. Plus, with the Dodger payroll looking like a question mark coming up, adding the type of money that Joc might be commanding could price him out of Los Angeles for good.
Surely the fans would welcome Joctober back with open arms, but chances are that he’ll be looking to prove himself as a full-time slugger elsewhere in 2021.