MLB insider gives Dodgers-Freddie Freeman more steam (but with roster implications)
The MLB lockout is continuing with no end in sight, and while fans certainly enjoy some healthy free agent/trade speculation, the real thing is just that much better. So while it’s pleasant Los Angeles Dodgers fans get to wonder about adding to their roster, they’d much rather see it after their early playoff exit back in October.
The top focus that feels like it’s too good to be true is Atlanta Braves free agent Freddie Freeman, who reportedly got frustrated with the World Series champs due to a lack of a contract after the season. Shouldn’t he have gotten a blank check?
Anyway, the Braves’ stupidity might be the Dodgers’ benefit because the rumblings about the Southern California native signing with LA seem to grow each day, even with transactions paused until further notice.
And the latest baseball insider to stoke the flame was ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez (subscription required), who ranked Freeman’s “best fits” with the Dodgers coming in at No. 3.
The Dodgers-Freddie Freeman buzz seems more and more real with each passing day.
Because Freeman can be had for money alone, Gonzalez makes a couple of key points here. The first being that he’ll be at least $125 million cheaper than Corey Seager, who signed a $325 deal with the Texas Rangers, and would actually improve the team’s overall offensive output after noting the two players’ slash lines since 2016:
- Corey Seager – .295/.364/.501
- Freddie Freeman – .305/.399/.547
Freeman is better! And his addition would improve their infield defense. Trea Turner moving back to short is an upgrade over Seager and Freeman at first over Muncy is also a bump (Muncy would either move to second base or DH, depending on the new CBA).
Otherwise, there are potential rippling roster effects that could actually help the Dodgers re-tool a bit and keep their window open for the foreseeable future.
"“Freeman’s presence … could also give them more flexibility to make a trade. Lux — who the Dodgers have always been reluctant to trade — could be used in pursuit of starting-pitching help, preventing the front office from having to overpay in a free-agent market that quickly dried up. [Justin] Turner — a year away from free agency — could be used to help restock a farm system that has thinned out at the top.”"
Trading Justin Turner?! In that scenario, Muncy would play third base and Lux would remain at second. Would we say this is likely? Not at all … but we’re not going to discount it. The Dodgers have a lot of decisions to make yet again before the 2023 season so they might want to get ahead of whatever facelift they need to make, especially if Trevor Bauer is suspended for all of 2022 and they can recoup the $45 million in salary that he’s owed.
Freeman’s continued link to LA is one fans should be thrilled about, but now we have some roster implications in the back of our mind to consider. So should he be signed, don’t be surprised if the Dodgers’ infield looks very different on Opening Day.