Dodgers Roster: What Are the Future Plans at Third Base?

turner

When rumors first surfaced about the Dodgers making a play for free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, things were conceivably setting up quite nicely. The team finally had some excess money to spend, and what better way was there to invest those funds than satisfying their long-term need at third base?

Once Rendon was taken off the board, interest shifted to another third baseman, this time to nine-year veteran Josh Donaldson. However, Donaldson’s value has seemingly risen this winter, as some teams appear to be ready to offer him a contract four years in length—something the Dodgers are very unlikely to do.

Of course, there’s no immediate hurry to find a third baseman, but it’s something the team is undoubtedly considering. Justin Turner is about to begin the final year of his contract, and as much as he is a fan favorite, chances are a quite slim that he returns—at least to play third base.

Earlier in the offseason, we explored the principles of deal with the Cubs for Kris Bryant. Indeed, there are many things that would complicate the deal, including the open grievance which may or may not ultimately deem Bryant a free agent at the end of the 2020 season. Regardless, after looking at the potential demands of the Cubs, coupled with the fact that Bryant is a much worse defender than Turner, we deemed that the Dodgers would be better off focusing their needs elsewhere, at least regarding the 2020 season.

    • Bryant—4.7 oWAR, -1.1 dWAR, 3.6 WAR, $12.9 million salary in 2019
    • Turner—4.5 oWAR, -0.6 dWAR, 3.7 WAR, $19 million salary in 2019

On a side note, Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report put together a story earlier this week mentioning a few potential trade proposals involving Bryant. As many of you know, I’m not big on hypothetical deals and this is a big reason why. Rymer suggested the Dodgers send Alex Verdugo, Dustin May and Dennis Santana to Chicago in return for Bryant—a proposal that is almost laughable from every imaginable angle.

As far as free agent options go, there isn’t much available unless you find somebody like Asdrubal Cabrera or Todd Frazier attractive. In terms of defense, even the not-so-sure-handed Bryant probably profiles better than both of these veterans. Furthermore, neither Cabrera nor Frazier would solve the Dodgers’ long-term need at third base.

On the fringe, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Matt Beaty and even Edwin Rios can handle duties at the hot corner, but none seem to fit the team’s mold to hold down the regular duties into the foreseeable future. Max Muncy has spent time at third base in the past, but his efforts have produced less than desirable results. Moreover, there has been plenty of fan-based chatter about shortstop Corey Seager eventually relocating to third, but there has been no signal whatsoever from management that this is the team’s desired plan.

Looking at the farm, the team apparently did not value Cristian Santana enough to protect him from the Rule 5 draft a few weeks ago. What’s more, Kody Hoese and/or Miguel Vargas are undoubtedly quite a few years away from their respective MLB debuts.

With Zack Cozart and Marwin Gonzalez at the forefront, the 2021 free agent class at the hot corner does not have anything intriguing to offer in the least.

In the end, a trade may be the club’s best option. These scenarios are usually almost always impossible to predict (see the notes regarding Bryant above), but one name that is extremely interesting is that of Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado. Chances are awfully slim that the Rockies move the 28-year-old superstar to a division rival, but crazier things have happened.

As the 2020 season approaches, the Dodgers’ plans at third are something definitely worth watching for any hints of what may lie ahead in the future.

 

15 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: What Are the Future Plans at Third Base?

  1. Dennis, you did not mention, the possibility in 2021 for Seager taking over at third, with Lux and maybe Downs handling SS and 2B. Muncy would be at 1B. If Turner were to be resigned as a super sub at a reasonable rate, he would also be in play. Of course Cory would not be long term, unless he were to be extended, which IMO would be a good thing.

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  2. The way I see the situation is you only make a trade for a real superstar difference maker. I’d rather stand firm with what we have and leave our trade assets in tact than go make a deal for a good not great hitter that won’t be much better than Turner or whoever else. Red easily has another year of superior 3B play in the field and at the plate in him so just go with what you have. Seager can always move to 3B if you don’t trade him next year and Lux would be your SS of the future. The most important thing is getting Ryu on board and finding at least one but preferably 2 more late inning relievers. If they can do those things I like our chances.

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  3. Next one to pick on Turner WHY after beating up on Seager let’s go to Turner. The man can play 3rd base within the top 4 in the league. Leave him/ Seager alone I can’t believe they are both get such bad opinions STOP!!!!!!!!! Turner will give us 25/75 and a more the adequate 3rd base. Here I am again get the bullpen taken care of and let’s all celebrate a WORLD SERIES

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  4. I love turner as much as everyone else does, but as Dennis noted above Turner is a negative 0.6 dwar player, his days of superior defense are behind him, he will be adequate if the team can’t find their third baseman of the future.
    Question to some of you guys out there, the Dodgers have been telling everybody no on including Lux in any trade, would you guys be willing to put Lux in a trade to get Arenado? He would be here for seven years at, I think it is 234 mil, which after the Rendon contract looks like a pretty good deal. I would much rather have Arenado than Rendon. I know Colorado doesn’t want to deal with the Dodgers, but would Lux draw their interest.

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      1. It’s tempting. But I would need to see the 5 year projections on those guys. Arenado projects well in the immediate future, he’s an everyday 5-6 WAR player but his prime years are behind him. He is owed $35 million a year for 5 years, to age 34, then $32m and $27m. And available bonuses every year. And here’s something else to consider – he can opt out after ‘21. The Rockies may be testing the waters because his salary bumps from $26m to $35m, with easily achievable bonuses added to it.

        As much as I like him, I don’t think I would do that deal. Lux, May and Ruiz are all potential future All Stars. May and/or Ruiz with some other lower prospect perhaps, but not all 3, and definitely not Lux.

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  5. I pretty much agree with Scoop on this one. Even assuming that Arenado would waive his opt out for an extra year or extra $, I still wouldn’t include Lux. I think the Rox would do the deal for those three guys but I wouldn’t.
    Two concerns with Arenado: His dWAR has dipped in the last 2 years so it may be on a downward slide, although he’s still a very good fielder. Also his home-road splits are pretty dramatic. Sometimes guys who play at Coors have their splits even out once they don’t play home games there but there are definitely some concerns to think about before trading for him. My offer: Ruiz, Gonsolin, Maeda, Downs, Peters. I doubt Colorado would accept it, but that’s my offer.

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  6. I’ve read in other places about Arenado’s home and away splits, so having never done so, I looked them up. He OPS’s .866 away from Coors. And that’s a problem? He also had 1.1 dWAR this year. He will be good over there for a long time. He crushes everywhere in the West but SF. Personally I think he’s a good fit here. He’s actually from here, right around the corner from me. I believe he would make us better, on the field and in the clubhouse. I don’t think he would opt out but might ask for an extension. I also don’t think the Rockies would trade him here unless they are looking 3 years down the road. I don’t know that they aren’t.

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  7. But dr. John, arenado, and Lindor are already what we hope Lux will be. My only hesitation with Lindor is the two years of control, if he would sign an extension like Goldschmidt did with the cards, I would take one in the hand over two in the bush.
    I hope all of you Lux fans are right, because we are passing on some of the elite players in the game, to keep Lux.

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    1. It looks like Doc Trojan to me Keith. Whatever, I’m with him. If Lindor had more than 2 years control it might be different. If he would agree to an extension, which he won’t, it might convince me. By the time Lux is 23 he might be putting up Lindor-like numbers. He probably won’t match WAR numbers as a second baseman, but I could see him coming close offensively. He and Seager up the middle for a few years intrigues me. I say hang on to him.

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  8. I guess I better get my eyes checked, sorry about that Doc Trojan.
    I wouldn’t trade Lux for two years of Lindor, but for seven years of arenado, if he would give up his opt out I would do it. That is a moot point though, no way the Rockies trade with the dodgers.

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