Transactions are on hold. There’s nothing to do. Insert the Spongebob alone in restaurant staring at a cup of coffee GIF. Sorry, Los Angeles Dodgers fans.
But you know what’s still allowed to go on during the MLB lockout? Speculation. Connecting the dots. And the last bit of spicy buzz we received prior to the league shutting down a week ago was the Dodgers’ rumored interest in free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Even before the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, it was a foregone conclusion Freeman would be re-upping with them. Then after they rolled through the Brewers, Dodgers and Astros to sit atop the league as champions, it was almost a guarantee Freeman would be handed a blank check from the organization after he had just played through a team-friendly contract.
Somehow, Freeman is still without a deal and will remain a free agent for what we can assume will be months as the owners and players’ association take a stab at having a conversation that lasts longer than seven minutes.
All jokes aside, though, don’t you think this means the Braves are at a disadvantage? They wouldn’t pay their franchise legend before the lockout by meeting his reasonable demands and now he’s going to remain exposed for bigger market teams to shower him with sizable offers.
Could the Dodgers really steal Freddie Freeman from the Atlanta Braves?
In the event the Dodgers are one of the teams that come knocking when the work stoppage is lifted, who’s to say they won’t be able to land his signature? Freeman is from southern California and at 32 years old it’s not unreasonable to think he may want to move closer to his roots.
So let’s say Andrew Friedman and the front office do the unthinkable and poach the best first baseman in the league from the defending champs. What will the Dodgers’ infield look like in 2022?
- 1B Freddie Freeman
- 2B Max Muncy*
- SS Trea Turner
- 3B Justin Turner
- C Will Smith
The asterisk next to Muncy’s name makes note of his elbow injury, which may complicate things. Yes, he has the capability to play second base, but how will his recovery transpire from a torn UCL without assistance from the Dodgers’ medical staff during the lockout? We’re not going to rule out he may miss time to begin the 2022 season since so much around his injury has been vague/kept in the dark.
In the event we see a worst-case scenario with Muncy, Gavin Lux can take over at second base for the time being and eventually shift into a utility role when Muncy is ready to return.
But let’s say Muncy is ready to go on Opening Day and this is the formation we’re gifted with. This … might be a better infield despite Corey Seager’s departure? All of these guys have largely been healthy in recent years and, at times, have put up MVP-caliber numbers.
That’d be a show-stopping way to cope with the losses of Seager and Max Scherzer. And perhaps the addition of Freeman will coax Clayton Kershaw to remain a Dodger. It’s always nice to pivot to potentially positive storylines, isn’t it?