We had to take some time to breathe before addressing this again. For one, the Texas Rangers winning the World Series with a bunch of former LA Dodgers players was a bit tough to watch. Secondly, we wanted to get on with the offseason and look ahead to 2024.
So far, so good for Los Angeles. Shohei Ohtani is here for the next decade and the Tyler Glasnow trade was a notable splash to help rebuild the starting rotation. Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed for $325 million. You can bet more moves are on the way, too.
But there's something to be said about 2022 and 2023 being wasted seasons. There's something to be said about the Dodgers still not having a true starting shortstop after being home to two of the best in the game.
It's worth questioning why they didn't add more pieces or retain others before Ohtani's arrival and instead are in a position to supplement a good portion of the roster around him after investing $700 million.
Wouldn't Corey Seager have been the perfect player to keep in LA? Though we don't entirely know the details surrounding his departure -- it's very possible he wanted to leave -- money always talks, and it seems the Dodgers very much did not go above and beyond with their homegrown star.
Andrew Friedman's comments on Corey Seager's Dodgers departure still don't sit well
Here's what Andrew Friedman said earlier this offseason when talking about Seager's World Series victory as a result of his departure from LA:
"I can't get into it too much, but there are players that have engaged earlier and have shown a real desire to be here that we've been aggressive and lined up and figured things out. I think it was important for him to go out and test free agency, which I respect.- Andrew Friedman
For us, we felt like we were aggressive and tried to make it happen -- didn't necessarily have the back and forth to try to get something done. But then we ended up with Freddie Freeman and distributing our talent in a little different way."
But was there an effort to convince him he didn't need to test free agency? And what was the point of Trea Turner if he also wasn't extended? Seager ended up getting $325 million from the Rangers, which, yes, is a large contract, but the Dodgers had barely any money on the books and were being overly obsessive about clearing space for Ohtani ... who ended up deferring most of his contract anyway.
Also notable: The Dodgers, before signing Ohtani and Yamamoto, had zero of the league's top-10 biggest contracts on their books. The Padres had (and stil have) two. The Yankees have (and still have) three. You might reference Mookie Betts' $365 million contract with Los Angeles, but don't forget the Dodgers deferred a lot of that money too in order to bring down the total value.
They were rumored to have done the same for Seager, offering the star slugger a deal in the $300 million range but with deferred payments. He apparently wasn't interested in that, considering he took a straight up 10-year, $325 million contract ($32.5 million AAV) with a basement-dwelling Rangers team before turning them around.
There's nothing wrong with being financially prudent, but the Dodgers have arguably been too careful. They've invested next to no money in starting pitching. Betts, who owns the longest contract in franchise history, is now playing the infield because of past mistakes made by the front office.
The Dodgers have the highest attendance in the league and have the second-most valuable franchise, only behind the Yankees. They could be more liberal with their spending. Something tells us they weren't convincing enough with Seager if he was permitted to test free agency and departed rather quickly.