The playoffs haven’t even begun but free agency rumor season is already underway and the Dodgers are back in the headlines.
There is speculation in the industry that the Dodgers will make a run at signing third baseman Anthony Rendon in the off-season, according to an article from Buster Olney.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) September 15, 2019
Rendon is a free agent at the end of the season and according to Olney, checks all the boxes for the Dodgers with his “consistently competitive plate appearances, power, a preponderance of contact, and an even-keeled temperament.”
Some of Rendon’s friends in the game believe he isn’t “devoted to the idea of a very long-term deal,” and would prefer something closer to five years over 10, according to Olney.
That is something that would really interest the Dodgers, who don’t like to dish out those long contracts to any player. They were reportedly willing to offer Bryce Harper the highest average annual value on a short-term deal last off-season. It would make sense if they try to do the same with Rendon.
If Scott Boras, Rendon’s agent, gets his way, Rendon will be signing a long-term deal with the highest bidder, so that could push the Dodgers out of negotiations. However, at the end of the day, it’s what Rendon wants, not Boras.
If the Dodgers were to sign Rendon, they would have to decide what to do with their excess of infielders. Sliding Justin Turner to first base with Max Muncy at second base would be the easiest fix.
That would push Gavin Lux to a bench role, but the Dodgers have repeatedly shown an excess of depth always solves itself. They could also try to teach Lux to play the outfield for a season, similar to what the Nationals did when they called up Trea Turner, their top prospect shortstop, a few years ago.
Justin Turner is a free agent after the 2020 season and they won’t be able to get a better player to take over at third. Rendon is arguably the best third baseman in baseball and is putting up an MVP caliber season. He is hitting .331/.414/.625 with 33 home runs, 118 RBI and 160 wRC+ with 6.9 WAR in 133 games this season.
They could also choose to bring Turner back after the 2020 season in a Chase Utley/David Freese type role to finish out his career.
No matter what their plan is for the rest of the infield, the Dodgers would be wise to bring Rendon to Los Angeles.