We’re already knee deep into month three of the MLB lockout but we’re still learning tidbits and nuggets about the Dodgers’ thinking when it came to free agency pre-lockout. Over the last few months, we’ve learned about LA’s interest in top free agent targets, and the latest update sheds a little more light on how far things may have been getting in the courtship stage of luring a player to Dodger Stadium.
In a conversation with The Athletic, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked whether he’d spoken with any top tier free agents like Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, or even Kris Bryant. Here’s where Doc did his best Doc impression and played it close to the vest in his answer.
“I might have been on the phone with a potential free agent to let him know how much we want to have him. I’ll leave it at that.”
Reports have said that LA has anticipated a likely Corey Seager departure for some time. The acquisition of Trea Turner at last year’s trade deadline backs up that idea. Despite only having a month or so of true offseason hot stove time before the lockout, Dave’s answer paints a picture that the Dodgers were moving quickly to replace him this winter. Or at least planning on it anyway.
Of course, in the short time teams could sign players this offseason, LA already re-upped with Chris Taylor on a 4-year pact and added right-handed reliever Dan Hudson, who likely acts as a Joe Kelly replacement. We’ve also heard varying levels of interest in Freddie Freeman, in particular, a player that would fit into the lineup and fill the void left by Seager perfectly.
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If not Freeman, Kris Bryant could be an impactful addition to the lineup, with his versatility playing up in LA’s game planning.
The lockout is still in full swing and there doesn’t appear to be a light at the end of the immediate tunnel. Both the league and the union have said they are prepared to miss games if a new CBA cannot be agreed upon in time. However, once that CBA gets done, the hot stove will be ablaze once again with a free agency frenzy like we’ve never seen. So Roberts better start working on his recruitment pitch once again for guys like Freeman.