Dodgers can’t risk letting Corey Seager explore free agency options with other teams

Thomas Carannante
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Infielder Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action during the third inning of the MLB spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch on March 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Infielder Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action during the third inning of the MLB spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch on March 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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You might’ve read the headline and thought to yourself, “Duh, Corey Seager is an integral member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, of course the team can’t let him go!”

And you’d be right.

However, we’re talking about the mere possibility of him even exploring another opportunity in free agency if the time comes next November.

It’s simply a risk the Dodgers cannot take.

Yes, they probably have the upper hand over other teams when it comes to bringing him back, but Jon Heyman’s latest report in regards to teams who could be interested in the 2020 World Series MVP is worrisome.

As a client of Scott Boras, we wouldn’t rule out Seager taking a boatload of money if one of these other clubs managed to out-bid the Dodgers.

Now, we’d venture to say only the Phillies could offer Seager a “winning” situation, but don’t forget that the Rangers and Giants will see a ton of money come off the books after 2021, meaning they’ll feel more comfortable overpaying if that’s what it came down to.

Check out the payroll situations for each of these teams after this season:

  • Giants: $25.42 million committed in guaranteed dollars, $103 million estimated total payroll including guaranteed dollars and arbitration-eligible players, without options
  • Phillies: $135.8 million committed in guaranteed dollars, $196.4 million estimated total including guaranteed dollars and arbitration-eligible players, without options
  • Rangers: $29.35 million committed in guaranteed dollars, $87 million estimated total payroll including guaranteed dollars and arbitration-eligible players, without options

And remember, Dave Dombrowski is running the show in Philly, so if he gets the green light to spend even more next year after the organization recoups some of the lost profits due to the pandemic, then they could easily exceed the luxury tax threshold considering they haven’t in quite a while. Plus, they have to keep up with the NL East arms race. They can’t waste Bryce Harper’s premier window.

As for the Giants and Rangers, we’ve seen them dole out big contracts in the past when they’ve had the capacity to do so. San Fran will certainly be looking to upgrade since they have some quality core pieces and will be battling with the Dodgers and Padres for the next five years, while the Rangers might look to capitalize in an AL West that gets weaker by the year.

By no means are we saying ANY of these situations are better than what LA has to offer, but giving Seager the option to skip town for a bloated paycheck might be just enough to get folks worried about a potential departure.

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