The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to have to make more changes than most 111-win teams are accustomed to after flaming out in the NLDS against their rival (yes, it’s a rivalry now, unfortunately) San Diego Padres.
The pitching is unsettled at best, with Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson (likely to return) contemplating their futures. The bullpen lacks a defined closer, beset by the Craig Kimbrel trade and one too many ‘bounce back’ bets by the front office. The offense? Laden with stars, they still went down silently when it mattered most, and Trea Turner will be exploring free agency this offseason/could depart.
It’s long been reported that Turner will give the Dodgers a chance in free agency, but would ultimately prefer an East Coast landing spot with a spring training complex near his Florida home. The Phillies feel like much more of a looming threat now than they did when Bryce Harper first tossed his team’s hat in the ring earlier in the season.
If Turner gives the Dodgers only a cursory chance in free agency — or if LA decides to move on of their own accord, following a second-half swoon — then it seems they could quickly pivot to a familiar face: Carlos Correa, whom they opted not to dance with last winter.
Correa, the hated leader of the 2017 Astros who took a World Series from the Dodgers’ clutches, spent a single year in Minnesota building up his value outside Houston, and performed solidly enough to warrant another look at a long-term deal this offseason. According to Jon Heyman, he’s firmly on LA’s radar, so … it’s time for this whole thing again.
Dodgers Rumors: LA doesn’t have ‘2017 reservations’ about Carlos Correa
Five years is an awfully long time to hold a grudge, and per Heyman, the Dodgers have moved on (if they hadn’t already last offseason):
"The Dodgers would surely love to bring [Turner] back, as [he] brings a rare speed-power combo to shortstop. But they likely still wonder whether they might be his first choice, and thus are surveying a very rich shortstop market. No surprise they appear to have landed on the other comparably great free-agent shortstop as an enticing 1A choice: Carlos Correa. They love everything he brings, and thus far don’t seem to have 2017 reservations."
Weren’t satisfied with last winter’s discourse about whether or not the Dodgers could ever tolerate a “cheater” like Correa? Welcome to the sequel, complete with another disappointing postseason loss to contextualize the conversation!
At a certain point, the Dodgers are going to need to import proven winners, especially as the Astros’ scandal falls further in the rear view and its main participants begin to spread their wings throughout the league.
Whether it’s Correa this winter or Justin Verlander post-opt out, the Dodgers and their fans will have to recalibrate just how badly they want it. Correa as Plan 1A, and the alternative to someone who might not even want to be here, would be a good place to start reconciling things.