Perhaps it's a bit of revisionist history, but almost every move the Los Angeles Dodgers made after winning the 2020 World Series was shortsighted. Thank goodness Freddie Freeman snuck in there, or else this team might be in a really bad place.
Though some might highlight the Trea Turner/Max Scherzer trade as a major victory, that, in the end, brought the Dodgers nothing except drama and eventually forced Corey Seager out. Scherzer followed the money after the 2021 season, threw the Dodgers under the bus, stunk with the Mets, threw them on the bus after he was traded, and was somehow awarded with a World Series. Nothing makes sense. Seager signed with the Rangers and won a World Series.
But it all began November of 2020 when the Dodgers let postseason heroes Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernández go (while investing in Trevor Bauer), which has derailed their playoff performances ever since. The Dodgers made the NLCS in 2021, but ran out of gas and clutch hitting (with Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock being the main sources). Then 2022 and 2023 featured NLDS eliminations against two inferior Wild Card teams, as the Dodgers' offense disappeared (and pitching floundered).
The Dodgers seemingly tried to make nice on that mistake by trading for Hernández at the 2023 deadline, which helped improve their versatility, veteran presence and timely offense. That was Step 1 in admitting they made a mistake. Hernández could return to LA, too.
Step 2? Reported interest in Pederson, who is a free agent, per David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports. The Dodgers need an outfielder and lefty bat. Pederson thrived in LA and likely fits the team's budget this offseason.
Latest Dodgers rumor suggests LA could be admitting to post-2020 mistakes
Call up Bellinger, get Justin Turner back in the building, contact the Red Sox about Kenley Jansen, and there you have it. How it should've been all along!
But seriously, though it might be too little too late and others may not view it as entirely palatable, this at least shows the Dodgers are aware they need some of their experienced thumpers back because that's what made them so fearsome from 2017-2020. Others could eventually rise through the ranks and take on that role, but it's been three years and nobody's stepped up. In fact, Hernández, again, was the team's top postseason performer in the NLDS against the Diamondbacks.
Admittedly, it'd be incredible to see part of the old crew return to Dodger Stadium. On the other hand, it'd be frustrating because instead of maximizing their very fruitful window, they now could be three years too late in reviving it.
Pederson's coming off a down year with the Giants after accepting the qualifying offer for the 2023 season. He was limited with injuries and finished the season with a .764 OPS and 111 OPS+ in 121 games. He hit just 15 homers and drove in 51 runs.
There's no doubt the Dodgers see an opportunity to re-sign Pederson at a discount now that he's entering his age-32 season and still hasn't displayed enough of a consistent track record to earn a multi-year contract. It's a sad reality. But at least it could be pushing the Dodgers in the right personnel direction.