Will the Dodgers extend any impending free agents during the 2020 season?
If and when the 2020 season gets underway, the Los Angeles Dodgers will have their eyes firmly set on the big prize at the end of the season. However, the team would be remiss a bit to have their gaze diverted a bit toward the future as well.
Entering the 2020 season, the Dodgers have an interesting pool of potential free agents. While Mookie Betts remains the biggest piece on the chessboard, and the biggest question mark for the team especially if a season isn’t played, the team also has to contend with the potential losses of Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Pedro Baez, Alex Wood, Blake Treinen, and more to free agency.
Betts will undoubtedly command a qualifying offer at minimum, as he’s already stated that he is intent on testing the free-agent market (although the stance was formed pre-COVID). The Dodgers may look at potential extensions for Turner, Baez, and maybe Wood, but there are only so many dollars to go around and other factors may play into the decisions abound.
Justin Turner seems to be an obvious extension candidate and one which we previously explored a bit. With the Dodgers likely looking at at least two years before Kody Hoese is ready to climb into the role, a two-year plus option deal with Turner would be ideal and could fit into both parties’ desires. It keeps a face of the franchise in place through his productive years and also paves the way for the next great Dodgers prospect.
The futures of the other players are a little fuzzier. Pederson is destined to leave and look for a full-time role with another organization, especially after a failed trade this winter. Wood is looking for a rebound year but has his likely replacement nipping at his heels in Dustin May. Meanwhile, Baez and Treinen are bullpen pieces, which remains a volatile role in any organization is likely better going on shorter pacts anyway.
The one remaining question will be how open players are to negotiating extensions during the season. With the year already being shortened, players may not want to be distracted until after the season is completed. However, there may also be more willingness to discuss deals with the financial impact of the pandemic likely to wreak havoc on free-agent spending.