The Dodgers already missed out on two of the biggest free agents on the market this offseason. How will they respond next?
With Trea Turner signing an 11-year, $300 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back in the shortstop market.
And they have no shortage of options.
There are free agents such as Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson. It’s difficult to imagine the Dodgers signing Correa, considering his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that defeated Los Angeles in the World Series. Swanson, whose friend and former teammate Freddie Freeman made the jump from the Braves to the Dodgers last winter, could make sense on a contract in the $150 million range.
But the Dodgers can also explore the trade market. They have expressed interest in the Brewers’ Willy Adames, according to major-league sources, though Milwaukee executives remain adamant that they want to keep the shortstop. They could explore the White Sox’s Tim Anderson or the Guardians’ Ames Rosario as backup options.
Internally, the Dodgers have expressed optimism that Gavin Lux can be their everyday shortstop. But replacing Turner will be difficult — there are some evaluators who view him as the best shortstop in baseball — and surely president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will heavily explore outside options.
How will the Dodgers bounce back after missing out on Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander?
On Monday, just hours into the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers lost out on another one of their top targets, Justin Verlander. They met earlier in the offseason on Zoom and felt the meeting went “well.” But after Jacob deGrom left the Mets, Verlander became New York’s top target — and signed a two-year contract for a record $43.3 million per season.
There are options the Dodgers can explore on the free-agent market, but it’s complicated. Carlos Rodon, the top pitcher available, is asking for a six-year contract. Will the Dodgers, who prefer short-term contracts, be willing to give him such an offer? The other free-agent options include Andrew Heaney and Kodai Senga while Pablo Lopez, who the Dodgers expressed interest in last season, remains a logical trade target.