Here are three players the Dodgers can use as trade bait this offseason.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as a whole is no doubt still living on cloud nine following their World Series triumph, the front office unfortunately has to get back down to business ahead of what projects to be a busy offseason.
After all, they have a legion of burning questions up and down the roster to address by the time players report to Spring Training. For starters, the likes of Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez and Pedro Baez (among others) are all set to hit free agency.
Furthermore, the Dodgers have to decide whether they should give certain stars — like Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Clayton Kershaw, to name a few — early contract extensions to ensure they don’t hit free agency when their respective deals expire.
Sorting all of those potential headaches out sounds exhausting in and of itself, but that doesn’t come close to finalizing the work Los Angeles has to do this offseason. We all know that the reigning champs have arguably the deepest roster in MLB, right?
Well, that has led to some greatly talented players being left without a prominent role on the team in 2021 and beyond. To mitigate that current logjam, the Dodgers should probably think about using some players as trade bait in the coming months. With that in mind, let’s highlight three players that make the most sense.
3. Corey Seager
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is entering a contract year.
We don’t doubt that Corey Seager loves everything about the Dodgers and playing in Los Angeles, but it would be irresponsible on our part to come out and assure you that he’s going to sign an extension with the organization.
In a vacuum, we’re sure the Dodgers would love to make this marriage work, too, and sign Seager to a mammoth extension in the wake of his record-setting postseason. He took home MVP honors in the NLCS after hitting .310/.333/.897 with five home runs, 11 RBI and eight runs scored. The 26-year-old superstar followed that up by posting a .400/.556/.700 slash line with two home runs and five RBI in the World Series en route to being named MVP.
However, with Seager set to enter his final year of arbitration eligibility in 2021, his sensational showing in October undoubtedly drove up his price tag in exponential fashion, and that could present some problems for the Dodgers, who have so many roster conundrums to address in the near future.
We know money is the least of LA’s worries, but giving Seager a colossal extension would only make it more difficult (if not impossible) to retain somebody like Justin Turner, not to mention that Bellinger, Kershaw and Julio Urias will all be due for new deals soon, too. Committing to Seager would also eliminate the LAD from the Francisco Lindor/Trevor Story chase next offseason, and would make a Nolan Arenado trade outright impossible. It’s all about whether you believe Seager will be able to stick at short long-term, which MLB experts are split on. The Dodgers aren’t paying shortstop money for an eventual second baseman.
As evidenced by numerous pre- and postgame interviews, Seager is clearly a class act, but like any bonafide superstar, he has every right to pursue the richest contract available. If the Dodgers aren’t able to offer him that, the logical decision would be to explore his trade market before he could potentially walk for free next offseason. After all, there would probably be a laundry list of suitors ready to give up the farm to acquire him.