Consistent hitting was a big issue for the Dodgers this season. I would argue it was the biggest reason why they couldn’t pull of the division come back and why they now find themselves watching the World Series from home.
Too many times did we as fans have to witness them explode on offense in one game and looked lost at the plate the next. The Dodgers have been very home run happy over the years and have heavily relied on it to supply the run support. We don’t get to see them play small ball or steal bases much anymore. Maybe they should have, and maybe they should shift to that approach more next season.
One player who could help in that aspect is Starling Marte, who Jim Bowden of The Athletic suggested could make an impact as well.
“Another free agent to watch is Starling Marte, who could play center field or left field for the Dodgers. He’s an on-base machine, one of the game’s best base stealers, and has 20 home run power. But Marte probably only makes sense if Seager departs and the Dodgers move Lux to second base and Turner to shortstop or if they can find a trade for Pollock.”
If the Dodgers do intend to open up the bank and open whatever it takes to retain Seager, spending money on someone like Marte doesn’t make sense. Despite having just turned 33 years old this month, Marte has shown he can still be very impactful and would cost a pretty decent amount of money. Earlier this season he reportedly was asking for a 3-4 year deal worth $50 million. So as Jim Bowden put it, he only makes sense if Seager leaves or they move AJ Pollock.
Why Marte would make sense
Marte finished the 2021 season with a .310 batting average, 12 home runs, 55 RBI, and 47 stolen bases between the Marlins and A’s. Having Marte at the top of the lineup alongside Trea Turner would be a nightmare for opposing teams. His ability to get into the minds of pitchers and managers is a stat you can’t measure, but its impact would be seen and felt.
Hitting is contagious, so having someone who can routinely get on base and start the party could seemingly have an effect on the rest of the lineup. Just look back at the way Turner impacted games when he first arrived. He took the fanbase by storm. If the Dodgers wanted, they could also move Marte down in the order to help drive in runs as well. While he isn’t a power hitter like Max Muncy, having someone who can put the ball in play is a difference-maker. In the event that Cody Bellinger can’t continue his postseason success, Marte would be a nice replacement.
It’s unknown whether he is on the front office’s radar, but he would make a fine addition to the team if the dominoes end up falling that way. For such a move to work, I would think both Seager and Pollock, not just one, would need to be absent from the roster.