Sign one of these three All-Star level second basemen
Over the course of just a few days, Brian Dozier, Jed Lowrie, and D.J. LeMahieu all signed with teams other than the Dodgers. I will split this section up into the older pairing and then get into LeMahieu.
Brian Dozier and Jed Lowrie, both of whom have put up a season of at least 4.9 WAR over one of the last three seasons, went to competitors in the NL East for far less than $8 million per WAR per year. Dozier got a measly one-year deal for just $9 million with the new-look Nationals and Jed Lowrie, whose career year was last season, got a two-year deal for $20 million with the Mets.
Both of these deals would have made sense for the Dodgers to make.
Dozier, who struggled in his brief stint in LA last season, was injured for much of the 2018 campaign, which can help to explain his deflated production. If he can bring back some of his former power and speed, as he is projected to do (at least partially) by Steamer, who have him projected to hit .242 with 22 homers and 11 steals in 2019.
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Lowrie’s story is slightly different. After a career year in 2018, Lowrie is slightly less enticing in terms of upside than Dozier due to the difference in age, 34 vs. 31. But Lowrie would have fit the current configuration of the Dodgers roster quite well.
A switch-hitter, Lowrie could have taken over the full-time second base role over Taylor or Hernandez. Lowrie hit .273 with 19 homers and 24 doubles in less than 500 PAs against righties last season.
The Dodgers could have done well for themselves and staved off a fan base hungry for a move if they had signed either of these studly second basemen. Instead, they stayed away from their high risk, high reward profiles.
After missing out on this pair, the team could have gone with D.J. LeMahieu. LeMahieu is a glove-first player with some upside at the plate. Instead, the Yankees signed him to a two-year deal worth $24 million.
While the rest of the off-season still lies ahead of us, full of promise and potential with stars like Bryce Harper and Dallas Keuchel available, the Dodgers have not set themselves up in the best possible way. They have cleared some salary and have cleared roster spots that could be filled by All-Stars. But they also could be filled by replacement level players that add little to no value, and their lack of performance could force the Dodgers to scramble at the trade deadline to find talent.