Dodgers: 3 difficult contract decisions LAD will have to make this offseason
By Adam Weinrib
Some big-budget teams do not have a lot of free agent turnover on their horizons this offseason.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are not one of those lucky teams.
Armed with an endless budget, there are a few things LA absolutely, positively needs to get taken care of first. We’re not assuming they’re going to cross the finish line, but to be honest, they’re not even worth classifying as “decisions” considering the decision should already be made on the Dodgers’ end.
Offer Max Scherzer the largest contract you can afford, and hope he says yes. Decision decided. Sit down with Clayton Kershaw and figure out a reasonable package to keep this long marriage running for another several years. Decision decided.
There. That was simple. Being Andrew Friedman: it’s great!
Unfortunately, not every part of the process is going to be quite that linear. Los Angeles has several stars, glue guys, and icons who are also hitting the open market at the exact same time as Kershaw and Scherzer. Theoretically, their budget is also being weighed down by Trevor Bauer’s money. While a Cody Bellinger extension might not be … quite as high a priority as it used to be, a Trea Turner deal has entered the picture and replaced it.
With a whirlwind of complicating factors in mind, these three Dodgers contract decisions might be the most toxic conversations this offseason.
The Dodgers have to make these 3 tough contract decisions.
3. Corey Seager
If you’d told us, while Corey Seager was busy raising his World Series MVP trophy a few days after raising his NLCS MVP trophy, that the Dodgers would be seriously considering letting him walk the very next winter in favor of Trea Turner, we’re not sure we would’ve been able to process that.
For one thing, Seager felt intrinsic to the Dodgers’ budding dynasty, certainly as essential as any other non-Mookie Betts player. And for another, weren’t Turner’s Nationals, uh, the reigning champions? Why is he floating around and available?
Unfortunately, the Seager decision isn’t so simple. Turner seems like a slam-dunk better shortstop than Seager in the years to come — in fact, the Dodgers’ incumbent may already be reaching the point where he’ll have to consider a move to third or second. He’s also missed a large portion of the 2021 season, clocking in at just 90-odd games played.
Of course, the counterpoint is that, when healthy, Seager has been a menace yet again in 2021, and is still just 27 years old. He’s going to get paid a metric ton, whether that total ultimately comes in just above or just below Turner’s mark.
Earlier in the season, the only alternative to the Dodgers offering their MVP a long-term deal was the potential emergence of Gavin Lux as an everyday shortstop. That … hasn’t happened, but Los Angeles pulled off another coup that doubtlessly has them questioning their devotion. This isn’t cut-and-dried.