The Dodgers are always going to be at least mentioned in any major trade or free agent rumor out there. As one of the biggest market teams in baseball, it sort of comes with the territory. Still riding the wave of a World Series win is another reason to think players might want to end up here.
So when the Dodgers initially came up in the Trevor Bauer rumors, most fans sort of shrugged it off. The same can be said when they once again came up in DJ LeMahieu discussions. But with things changing every minute for Los Angeles’ pending free agents, the rumors start to make a little bit more sense.
MLB insider Joel Sherman added more fuel to the rumor fire this week when he said that the Dodgers are primed to land at least one of those big names. In speaking with baseball executives, Sherman reported that many felt Los Angeles would end up with one(or maybe two) of them by the time the 2021 season kicks off.
The big question with Bauer is whether he is looking for a short-term deal. If the Dodgers have the chance to offer him a contract at three years or less, it seems like a real possibility that a deal could get done. If Bauer is looking long-term, then Los Angeles is pretty much out of the conversation.
LeMahieu is a little bit more complicated in terms of what the Dodgers can do. The veteran infielder has reportedly been looking for a deal in the 5-year range and well north of $100 million. Los Angeles has been so good at managing payroll that they are only committed to Mookie Betts beyond 2022, and LeMahieu isn’t exactly a generational talent. On the other hand, losing Justin Turner in free agency could make DJ slightly more appealing.
My opinion? I’m not a big fan of spending serious money this offseason. It’s not so much that I don’t like the talent that’s out there, or that I don’t want the Dodgers spending money. But Andrew Friedman waited around for the perfect deal to get Betts to LA long-term, and I don’t think he will need to be as aggressive having alleviated the pressure of a 32-year championship drought.
I think that even if the Dodgers lose out of Justin Turner that they go in-house to fill the void at third base. I also believe that the pitching depth throughout the organization is enough for them to not want to spend long-term dollars on a free agent. Only time will tell.
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