Perhaps many of us were quick to assume the Los Angeles Dodgers were either expecting Corey Seager to leave in free agency or had a premier Plan B in the event that he did.
Turns out, from one baseball insider, neither of those things were true. Take from the information what you will, though. None of this is gospel, but it’s helpful to learn what others have heard over the last two months.
Seager departed for the Texas Rangers a little over a month ago and received a massive 10-year, $325 million contract, which admittedly wouldn’t have been the easiest to squeeze on the Dodgers’ payroll given Mookie Betts’ $365 million contract, Trevor Bauer’s $45 million stuck on the books for 2022, and numerous other commitments on the horizon both this offseason and next.
But apparently, even though the Dodgers ended up “cheaping out,” they made a push to at least pay Seager a fair amount with the allure of remaining on a perennial contender. What’s intriguing, however, is that it sounds like they thought their approach would work.
Here’s what MLB insider Jon Heyman said on the Big Time Baseball podcast last month:
"“The Dodgers really wanted to keep [Corey Seager] and they were willing to go pretty far. My understanding is they would have made an offer — or perhaps they did — of $300 million or more, but with deferrals … so he would’ve gotten considerably less than what he got from Texas.“Losing Seager hurt them. They really wanted to keep Seager with [Trea] Turner at second … going in, I don’t think they were looking at the other shortstops.”"
Did the Dodgers really think that Scott Boras was going to allow his client to accept significant deferrals when a better offer was available? Now that’s why we saw LA’s late involvement in the Carlos Correa sweepstakes. It was never part of their plan … because if it was, why wouldn’t they have reached out to him earlier with a $300 million offer?
All this time we thought Trea Turner was the succession plan, but Heyman’s telling us the Dodgers wanted him to stay at second base, and that still may be the case since Andrew Friedman said in late October that the two sides hadn’t discussed a return to shortstop. And that might be true because the Dodgers have been rumored to enter the free agent market for shortstops after Seager’s departure became official.
Believe what you want, but an insider of Heyman’s caliber revealing this type of perspective holds at least some weight, especially when you consider how everything transpired right before the lockout.