Dodgers offseason: LA can solve most of its problems by re-signing its own free agents

The 2021-22 MLB has been going on for a few weeks and we’re still waiting for the first big move to happen. That’s no wonder – like the MLB season itself, the premiership is a marathon rather than a sprint – despite the nearing expiration of competitive bargaining agreement throw a giant wrench into the hot stove. However, the season of baseball is underway.

With that in mind, we’ll be reviewing each potential buyer’s holiday wish list over the next few days, continuing with Los Angeles Dodgers. Let’s go there.

The pitcher(s) start

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The Dodgers signed their first free agent contract of the season two weeks ago they signed the reclamation project which gave Andrew Heaney a one-year contract. However, they need more rotational help than that. Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw is a free agent and Trevor Bauer is likely to be suspended under MLBdomestic violence policy of 2022. Current rotation includes Heaney, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, and maybe David Price. There is room to upgrade.

Wish list: Scherzer and Kershaw would be ideal. Even at 37 years old and even after hobbling to the finish line in 2021, Scherzer is still a prolific scorer and one of the best pitchers in the game. A two- or three-year high-paying deal (high salary of $35 million to $40 million per year, maybe even more) would make sense. Kershaw’s health is in question, though it’s also hard to see him become the franchise icon touted elsewhere. Even if the Dodgers have to take him with them during spring training and handle him carefully next season, keeping Kershaw around at a turning depth (with the potential to be a difference maker) really) seems like a win-win.

Athletics is expected to sell and they have three starters to qualify as referees who will probably interest the Dodgers Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, and Frankie Montas. Bassitt and Manaea are only a year away from free agency, Montas two. Righty Jon Gray sounds like a classic “we’re going to take this guy and make him better Rockies used to be able to “target free agents. We could never rule out the Dodgers on a big money long term contract for someone like Robbie Ray. My guess is that they don’t want to make huge sums for anyone but Scherzer and Kershaw, and will instead find a way to fill the rotation with cheaper (but still effective) pitchers.

Replace Taylor

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It is difficult to put a number on the importance of Chris Taylor was with the Dodgers for the past six years. WAR underestimated him. Taylor scored .264/.341/.458 in nearly 2,500 board appearances while playing in every position other than pitcher, catcher and first base during his time in Los Angeles. Plus, he also had a lot of post-season success. Taylor is the best super utility player in the game right now and that makes him irreplaceable. Finding someone to fill that role and improving the bench as a whole is a top priority this winter.

Wish list: Taylor. Lose Corey Seager will definitely hurt, even though the Dodgers can plug Trea Turner in the short term and Gavin Lux in second place and don’t miss Seager too much. Replacing Taylor will be much more difficult. Highly productive and multi-position (and well-played) players are rare, so why try to replace Taylor when you can just re-sign Taylor? He’s shown he can fill that very hard, very valuable role, and the Dodgers will provide him with a lot of money and a chance to win. Seems like a good fit for both sides.

If the Dodgers don’t re-sign Taylor (and Seager), it’s best to keep your wallet Marcus Semien to play second base, push Lux into that super utility role. Someone like Eduardo Escobar can also perform well, although he is primarily a midfielder with limited off-field experience. Right now the bench consists of several combinations of Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry, Sheldon Neuse, and Luke Raley. I have to think Los Angeles will look to upgrade that team this winter, and Taylor’s re-signing would be a great start.

Late reliever

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Kenley Jansen, the most recent greatest in Dodgers history, is now a free agent and not a key to return. He excelled after adjusting his pitch mix mid-season and trading a few cutters for the slides, and he executed that excellence right into the post-season. Dodgers don’t need to replace Jansen with another closer one at all because they can easily insert Blake Treinen in the ninth inning. However, reliever medication is required at the end of the set. Someone to push Brusdar Graterol and Alex Vesia return to the sixth and seventh rounds instead of the eighth.

Wish list: Dodgers can solve all their needs by re-signing their own free agents, and that applies here too. Bringing Jansen back is better than spending big money on Raisel Iglesias or give up potential customers to get Craig Kimbrel. Los Angeles can be cheaper and re-sign Corey Knebel, who worked well for them around an injury this year, but the Dodgers seem more likely to look Next Corey Knebel, the low-priced pain reliever that doesn’t pay for the real Corey Knebel. Again, the Dodgers don’t need closer at all because they have Treinen. However, they needed a high dose of leverage reduction and reuniting with Jansen was the simplest solution. He’s still very nice and he’s a man of a known amount. Dodgers offseason: LA can solve most of its problems by re-signing its own free agents

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