A handful of members of the 2017 Dodgers are currently free agents, the most notable being Brandon Morrow and Yu Darvish. While it’s still uncertain where either will wind up, the rumors have been heating up lately.
Brandon Morrow has drawn interest from the Cubs, and would likely to replace recently departed closer Wade Davis. Steve Adams of MLBTradeRumors noted this:
Chicago has been tied to a number of relievers already this offseason, including Brandon Morrow and Addison Reed, and it seems likely that they’ll pursue multiple ’pen arms after non-tendering Hector Rondon and seeing Wade Davis, Brian Dunesing and Koji Uehara hit free agency.
While Morrow returning to the Dodgers is the best-case scenario, he could want to pursue a bigger role after his dominant 2017 season. Morrow posted a 2.06 ERA with 50 strikeouts over 43.2 innings during the regular season. Morrow then went on to pitch 14 games during the postseason, including all 7 in the World Series, and posted a 3.95 ERA. This number is heavily inflated by one bad appearance in which he allowed 4 earned runs without recording an out while pitching in his third straight game for the first time of his career. The fan favorite reliever is likely in for a big payday.
In a tweet from Jim Bowden of SiriusXM, it was reported that 6 teams are in on Yu Darvish.
— Jim Bowden?? (@Jim_BowdenSXM) November 28, 2017
While most of them have yet to be revealed, the Twins seem to be one of the interested teams.
Twins have interest in signing Yu Darvish. https://t.co/M4NZ0681Fj
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) November 26, 2017
Darvish was acquired at the deadline from the Rangers, and had an up-and-down regular season for the Dodgers. The 31-year old pitched to a 3.44 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 49.2 innings after being traded. After pitching well through his first two postseason starts, Darvish imploded in the World Series allowing 8 earned runs over just 3.1 innings. While this was certainly a let down, it’s unlikely to have much of an effect on his value. One team who makes sense to pursue Darvish is the Cubs, who are likely to lose former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta in free agency.
The list of players who are likely to find work elsewhere for 2018 also includes Andre Ethier and Chase Utley. Ethier was a star for the Dodgers in his prime, but injuries have limited him to 58 at-bats over the last two seasons. It was recently rumored that Ethier intended to call it a career, but these rumors were quickly put to rest. While Ethier plans to play in 2018, he stated that he only wants to play for a contender.
Although unspecific, Ken Gurnick tweeted that teams have already shown interest in the right fielder.
Andre Ethier said reports that he's retiring are "totally untrue." Teams have already shown interest, he said his back is healthy and he's preparing to play in 2018.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) November 26, 2017
Chase Utley was rumored to have been pursued by the Phillies to be their bench coach, but Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Utley plans to play in 2018.
For #Phillies fans wondering: Chase Utley had no interest in becoming the team’s bench coach. He intends to play next season.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2017
Chase Utley’s days of All-Star caliber seasons is over, but he could still provide value as a leader and bench player. While there has been little said about Utley this offseason, like Ethier it’s hard to see him playing for a team that isn’t in contention. It’s still possible that he’s brought back to the Dodgers, but with their amount of younger and cheaper depth, it seems unlikely. One team that makes sense is the Giants, as Utley currently resides in Sausalito which is right outside of San Francisco.
Where do you think they will all be playing in 2018? Let us know in the comments!