While the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers have tempered their ways this winter, as they have yet to sign any major free agents.
Instead of giving Hanley Ramirez a long-term deal, they let him walk and saw him sign with the Boston Red Sox. Although Ramirez’s offense was crucial to the Dodger offense, they felt comfortable in letting him leave partly because of a prospect in the system. Corey Seager has climbed the ranks to become one of the better shortstop prospects in all of baseball. While he isn’t being counted on for the 2015 season, the Dodgers will give their young talent some time to work with the veterans.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, general manager Farhan Zaidi revealed the plan for Seager this spring:
Corey Seager will be in the Dodgers' major-league spring training camp.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) December 10, 2014
Seager is not on the 40-man roster at the moment and would be a non-roster invitee to spring training. The 20-year-old split time between Single-A and Double-A last season. He hit a combined .349 with 20 home runs, 50 doubles and 97 RBIs. Following the season, Seager participated in the Arizona Fall League. Participating in big league camp will show Seager how to prepare day in and day out while also showing the Dodgers if he is ready to contribute at the big league level.
The Dodgers plan is for Seager to take over as early as 2016, and that plan has caused them to look for a certain type of player when getting their shortstop. While the Dodgers have a few in-house candidates like Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena, none have the offense to last the whole year in the starting lineup. Zaidi mentioned that the team would be looking for a shortstop with versatility in the case that Seager is ready in 2016 and they could move that player to a utility role.
Seager could break out this spring and impress enough to see him at some point in 2015.