The Los Angeles Dodgers will undoubtedly be involved in the free agency process for their 2020 NLCS and World Series MVP — but to what extent?
After all, they traded for superstar shortstop Trea Turner for a reason, and it wasn’t just to play him for a year and two months out of position. Clearly, they believe in Gavin Lux in some capacity, or they wouldn’t have kept him this long.
So where and when does Corey Seager move off short if he stays? Ah, well … it’s not that simple, unfortunately.
You see, it takes two to tango, and the latest updates from Seager’s camp indicate he might not be so keen to let Twitter dictate the teams of his position change.
Per Alanna Rizzo on MLB Network this week, Seager’s preference is still to play shortstop, which would make you think he likely won’t lock in long-term with a team that clearly states they plan to try him at third base in a year or two. That wouldn’t rule out the Dodgers per se, but it certainly wouldn’t make them terribly enthusiastic about paying Scott Boras $250+ million.
Dodgers free agent Corey Seager doesn’t want to change positions.
The sum total of Seager’s time at third base still stands at six games across the breadth of his MLB career. It’s completely understandable that he doesn’t want to address a possible move until the bell tolls, but … that still makes the Dodgers’ job very difficult here.
Sure, the team has plenty of other needs at the moment, and can barely form 3/5 of a rotation after entering 2021 with the “deepest group” in recent MLB history. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if a Turner extension comes first in December or January, pushing a Seager decision onto someone else’s plate.
After all, you’re paying a premium here, and if you think Seager’s projected defensive liabilities won’t be brought up in the negotiation process, you’re willingly blocking out how nasty arbitration can get — and that’s a scenario where the player’s still under contract, and has to return to the team that just roasted him. Imagine a similar level of conversation without that security blanket?
This offseason’s going to be long and boring, packed with tea leaf reading while we wait.
At the very least, this is a helpful reminder that maybe your position-less projections for the Dodgers’ 2022 roster (and beyond) won’t totally work because of the humans involved in the switches you’re proposing.
For now, Seager’s a shortstop. And someone’s probably going to pay him quite a bit of money to continue to be one.