The Los Angeles Dodgers began their offseason by giving qualifying offers to Corey Seager and Chris Taylor, signing Andrew Heaney, and opting not to hit Clayton Kershaw with the $18.4 million QO. We don’t entirely know what that last part means, but it happened.
And that’s only the beginning. This team has issues in the starting rotation, bullpen, lineup and defensive alignment of the 2022 squad. Between us … it’s a bit of a mess.
But there’s good news. The Oakland Athletics are open for business, which could help Andrew Friedman and Co. check a number of boxes with just one transaction.
Following manager Bob Melvin’s departure to San Diego, the A’s made it clear a teardown of sorts was on the horizon. That means a lot of talented players could be on the move. Oakland was a borderline playoff contender and made the postseason three straight years before falling short in 2021.
Does this news change Friedman’s offseason plan, which was already expected to be complicated and nuanced?
Will the Dodgers strike a trade with the Athletics to fix their issues?
The names we’ve heard so far that are likely to be made available via trade would change the complexion of almost every franchise out there. Let’s take a look:
- 1B Matt Olson
- 3B Matt Chapman
- SP Chris Bassitt
- SP Frankie Montas
- SP Sean Manaea
All of those guys have rising arbitration costs that the A’s likely want to get off the books. If the offer is right, we wouldn’t be surprised if players like 2B/OF Tony Kemp, relievers Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman, or center fielder Ramon Laureano enter the conversation.
Immediately looking at the Dodgers’ needs, they could really do a lot here. The starting pitching speaks for itself. You’d trade for any of those guys, especially at their team-friendly price tags. But what about Olson? Plop him at first, move Max Muncy to second and Trea Turner to shortstop, assuming Corey Seager departs. Maybe Seager stays and Turner stays at second. Would it be an awful idea to acquire Olson and rotate him, Muncy and Justin Turner in the DH spot with Muncy/Turner alternating at third and Muncy/Olson alternating at first? Ok, maybe that’s a little much.
What if they go for Chapman and shift Turner to a permanent DH after his concerning hamstring injury knocked him out of the playoffs? Preserving him for the next couple years has to be among the more important goals for the organization, and even the biggest homers can’t deny Chapman would be a significant defensive upgrade.
There are a ton of possibilities and the A’s will no doubt like their chances of acquiring a haul of promising young talent from the Dodgers, who have stacked their farm system with shrewd draft picks and international signings.
LA still has a fortuitous championship window. Their actions at the trade deadline signified a pivot. If they could work out a deal of that magnitude with the Nationals, we’re excited wondering what they could pull off with the Athletics.