The Dodgers are encouraging their free agents to explore other options.
Fresh off a World Series victory, we can assume the Los Angeles Dodgers are not operating in haste this offseason, which is perfect timing for them. With so many teams experiencing mounting financial losses but still in need of upgrades, the Dodgers can sit back since they just got the monkey off their back and have maintained a star-studded roster.
Los Angeles has a lot of guys hitting the open market. Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Blake Treinen, Enrique Hernandez, Alex Wood, Jake McGee, Pedro Baez, and others are free agents, and it’s very unclear if any of them will be back with the Dodgers in 2021.
Now, things have become even more murky, because president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently said that he’s encouraging those guys to explore their options in free agency. That could be a telling sign in regard to the Dodgers’ offseason plans.
"“We’ve reached out to each of our guys individually just to share the mindset and also encourage them to do that (see what opportunities might exist). I think over time they’ve all learned they may not love everything we say but they know we’re going to be honest and they know they can rely on that. We’re not trying to be cars salesmen to convince guys of things. I think that matters as they’re going through this,” Friedman said on AM 570 LA Sports.“I think some of them have talked to some teams where maybe they feel there’s a bait and switch involved, but we’re allowing them some time to go through it and figure out what’s best for them and their family. If it happens to be somewhere else, that stinks it would be the end of that chapter, but we’ll wish them nothing but the best and they will forever be a major part of Dodger history.”"
With all that money coming off the books, Friedman surely isn’t going to prioritize (mostly) marginal players when the Dodgers are looking to get under the luxury tax threshold OR acquire another star player that will cost them big money in the long term.
And if we’re being honest, this is kind of a slap in the face. “Hey, go explore all of those non-existent free agency options during the global pandemic!” One of the richest teams in all of sports pushing their in-house free agents to see what they can get elsewhere says it all.
The Dodgers probably aren’t bringing any of these guys back due to payroll issues/a desire to upgrade elsewhere, and Friedman’s comments all but officially set that in stone. If Turner isn’t a surefire return, then nobody is.