Are the Dodgers eyeing a shortstop in free agency this offseason?
It’s no secret. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Corey Seager have some things to work out between now and next offseason. And by “things,” we mean contract and long-term outlook.
Seager is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, meaning he will be a free agent after 2021. As a client of Scott Boras, we shouldn’t expect an extension because that’s not how the man’s agency rolls. So, unless the Dodgers break the bank for the 26-year-old before next October, expect him to be on the open market this time next year.
Another topic of conversation surrounding Seager has been his long-term position. Do the Dodgers view him as a shortstop as he continues to age or will he transition to second or third base sooner than later? Perhaps the Dodgers are working on addressing both of these concerns with this latest rumor.
Here’s the latest from ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan:
"“One name to keep an eye on in the coming days, sources say, is Marcus Semien, the shortstop who followed his third-place showing in the 2019 AL MVP race with an underwhelming 2020. Although the 30-year-old Semien is unlikely to command the kind of deal that will take him deep into his 30s, one executive said he appreciates Semien for his steadiness, versatility, makeup and, yes, price point. What he meant: Semien isn’t going to cost nine figures like the shortstops in the mega-class of 2021-22. Some teams are already preparing for the shortstopalooza of next offseason, which, barring extensions, will feature Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Trevor Story — five All-Stars, all of whom will hit free agency at 28 or younger. Among the teams that could find themselves in play: the Dodgers, Mets, Blue Jays, Phillies, Astros, Cubs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers.”"
The first team listed, eh? Huh.
Marcus Semien to Los Angeles could be a possibility this offseason and one could attribute that to his market value at the moment. A down 2020 campaign coupled just turning 30 years old will be huge factors with regard to his next contract, and it’s possible the Dodgers view that favorably enough to strike now.
Keep in mind that teams have reportedly asked Semien to play second or third base this offseason, so there’s a chance this could be a move to address the potential loss of Justin Turner. However, it’s been said the Dodgers have made Turner their top priority this offseason and we’ve yet to hear anything positive about Seager’s long-term situation.
Acquiring Semien would perhaps allow the Dodgers to expedite a position change for Seager in 2021, which would help them assess the roster once he hits free agency. Could he be suitable at second or third? It’s probably worth seeing before signing him long-term to determine that.
Or are they bracing for his departure? If that’s the case, Semien is a shrewd acquisition because the Dodgers can remove themselves from the shortstop rat race next offseason, which will feature Seager, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa and Trevor Story. Semien at a discount could trump any of those guys on 6-10-year contracts, from an evaluation standpoint. You have to think if the Dodgers expect Seager to leave, there’s a possibility a trade scenario is under consideration, which would mean they need a shortstop (or second baseman, if they opt to roll with Gavin Lux).
Then there’s the possibility that the Dodgers are asking Semien to play second base and Lux is being used as trade bait, which would give the Dodgers a stacked infield in the event Turner returns and Seager is signed after this season. That’d be the best-case scenario for fans, that’s for sure.
This buzz, however, spurs a lot of speculation that’s important to address, whether it’s tough to swallow or not.