Corey Seager’s hot streak has put Dodgers in bad spot with contract extension negotiations
Corey Seager’s current run is putting the Dodgers in a bad spot financially.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from their first World Series title in 32 years, and shortstop Corey Seager has been a big catalyst for this current run. Baseball’s former top prospect is seemingly atop his game after bouncing back from Tommy John surgery back in 2018.
And while that’s tremendous news for the Dodgers in the short term, it’s not good for 2022 and beyond. Seager’s price tag is rising exponentially, as he’s set to enter his final year of arbitration eligibility in 2021. And let’s not forget Seager’s agent is Scott Boras. The moment the 26-year-old hits free agency, top dollar will be the main goal.
You though Seager’s NLCS was good? He’s now hitting .471 with a 1.432 OPS, seven runs scored, two home runs, four RBI and a stolen base across five games so far in the World Series.
Though he’s been a bit shaky on the defensive end during the 2019 and 2020 regular seasons, his glove has been a vacuum in the postseason. He has just two errors in 47 career postseason games and, based on the eye test, has been a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop during the 2020 playoffs.
Plus, one could attribute his regular-season struggles over the past two years to his recovery from Tommy John, which is a legitimate excuse, though his career fielding percentage is a bit low at .968.
Then again, he bats on the left side of the plate, hits for average and power, and gets on base a lot. He’s slashing .295/.362/.500 with 340 runs scored, 88 home runs and 307 RBI in 541 career games. A ton of teams will pay for that kind of production from a shortstop.
We know the Dodgers pretty much print money, but after the 2021 season the front office is going to run into a number of “issues,” if you will. Clayton Kershaw, Chris Taylor, Kenley Jansen (though he’s definitely gone) and Jake McGee could all be free agents. LA will have a big decision to make on Joe Kelly’s contract, whether to pay him a $4 million buyout or pick up his $12 million team option.
As for this offseason, Justin Turner, Enrique Hernandez, Blake Treinen and Joc Pederson will all be free agents. Julio Urias and Cody Bellinger will be owed a lot, as they hit their first year of arbitration eligibility.
The Dodgers front office is among the best in baseball, but with so many decisions to make over the next two seasons, a mega-contract for Seager could complicate things, especially in the wake of Mookie Betts’ deal and David Price’s time in LA being extended by a year after he opted out of the 2020 season.