Let the rampant speculation begin! Andrew Friedman and the Los Angeles Dodgers have an all-important offseason in front of them, perhaps one that will define the foreseeable future of the organization, and there's been a lot to digest following the conclusion of the World Series.
The Dodgers watched former players Corey Seager, Andrew Heaney, Nathan Eovaldi, Josh Sborz and Max Scherzer capture a ring. During the regular season? They saw guys like Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner, both of whom were let go before the start of the campaign, dominate with their new teams.
Thankfully, this time around, the Dodgers don't have too many situations where departing players might burn them, nor do they have many opportunities to forcefully part with players that could eventually lead to this again.
Might the Dodgers attempt to reverse their fortunes, like they did with Kiké Hernandez at this year's deadline after leaving him hanging after the 2020 season? Bellinger and Turner will be hitting free agency this coming week after declining their 2024 options. Bellinger rejected his $12.5 million mutual option and Turner rejected his $13.4 million player option.
In theory, this sounds nice. But in practice, the Dodgers don't have the money or roster space to make this happen.
Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner options, Nolan Arenado, Shohei Ohtani
Bellinger is undoubtedly seeking a long-term contract, as his agent Scott Boras has indicated, after rediscovering his offensive form in Chicago. There's no better time to cash in, either, because it's quickly gotten many to forget about his dreadful 2021 and 2022 seasons that eventually led to the Dodgers non-tendering him. Also, James Outman is the Dodgers' center fielder and that worked out just fine.
That said, nobody would be upset if Belli came back to the Dodgers. But they'll be spending big money elsewhere (we hope).
Turner's case is a bit different. He won't exactly be a prohibitive cost, but he's limited at this juncture of his career. He's entering his age-39 season and is no longer a viable full-time defensive option. That's tough for the Dodgers to squeeze into their picture because they just extended Max Muncy for two years (and his defense at third base is rapidly declining). There's also JD Martinez, who's a better DH option. And there's Shohei Ohtani, the team's likely top target. Turner coming back to LA solely with Muncy in the picture would create a logjam and wouldn't necessarily help the offense.
We could be wrong, though! And again, nobody would oppose JT returning to the team that helped propel his special career.