Which Free Agents Are Dodgers Most Likely to Bring Back?

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

The World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers had many key players show up in big moments during the October playoff run. Seven players of the championship roster are currently free agents. With the off-season hot stove being pretty cold at the moment, there hasn’t been much action.

The seven players from last season who are currently free agents are Joc Pederson, Pedro Baez, Kike Hernandez, Jake McGee, Blake Treinen, Alex Wood, and Justin Turner.

All of these players had their moments during the championship run. Some have been Dodgers for a couple of seasons; for others, it was their first season.

Some of the longest-tenured Dodgers on that list are Pederson, Baez, Hernandez, and Turner, all of whom have been key players during the club’s streak of eight straight division titles.

Turner has been a leader in the clubhouse and one of the staples on the Dodger lineup. Hernandez has been absolutely versatile for manager Dave Roberts, while Pederson has come up big in some huge spots in the playoffs,

Obviously, it is very unlikely the Dodgers can bring back all seven players. Some might have played their last game in a Dodger uniform during Game 6 of the 2020 World Series.

Turner appears to be the candidate most likely to return to the Dodgers, perhaps on a deal no longer than two years. He just turned 36, and it is hard to envision him going to another team. Both the Dodgers and Turner are reported to have a mutual interest in a deal, so there is a chance that Turner retires a Dodger.

Hernandez surely looks to have a pretty big market. He has played every position for the Dodgers except catcher, one of the few players who could play anywhere on the field. He can also step in during later innings as a pinch hitter. Ultimately, it depends on how freely teams are wiling to spend this offseason, but there is a good chance he has played his last game as a Dodger,

Pederson originally was supposed to be traded to the Angels before the 2020 season started, but as the Mookie Betts trade was held up, the Angels grew impatient and pulled out the deal. Pederson in recent years has platooned in the outfield, usually sitting against left-handed pitching. There was also the brief experiment of Pederson at first base, but after a couple of struggles that quickly concluded. The postseason is where Pederson goes on a tear, though. Since the Dodgers tried to ship him off to Anaheim, I think there will be a couple of teams after his services and he’ll ultimately sign somewhere else.

Wood has an interesting case: he was with the Dodgers from 2015- 2018, traded to the Reds in the Yasiel Puig deal, and signed back with the Dodgers in 2020. During his first stint Wood earned an All-Star selection. The past two couple of seasons he’s struggled with injuries, so another small, one-year may suit both sides.

Baez, McGee, and Treinen were all key contributors to the bullpen. Baez, obviously being the longest-tenured out of those, I believe is the most likely to come back on a short deal. McGee was a great pickup just before the season started and was a key left hander out the bullpen. Treinen was also outstanding at stepping in to save situations during the championship run, and he’s capable of being an All-Star closer like he’s been in the past. The market for Treinen may be bigger than McGee and Baez, making it harder for the Dodgers to re-sign him.

Overall here is in order who I personally think the Dodgers are most likely to bring back from likeliest to unlikeliest.

  1. Justin Turner
  2. Alex Wood
  3. Pedro Baez
  4. Jake McGee
  5. Kike Hernandez
  6. Blake Treinen
  7. Joc Pederson

It is still very early in the offseason, and anything can change; but at the current moment, I think this is where things stand.

8 thoughts on “Which Free Agents Are Dodgers Most Likely to Bring Back?

  1. Good jumping off point for conversation Jose. Here’s my list, from most likely to least:
    1) JT – I think both he and AF want him to be back so unless someone has a crazy offer, he’s back
    2) Baez – he’s asking for a 3 year deal. I don’t think anyone gives that to him. He’s comfy here. I think he takes a 2 yr deal and returns.
    3) McGee – if Fergie hadn’t had TJ this wouldn’t happen, but I think he fills a need now.
    4) Treinen – He showed enough last year that AF would know what he was getting. If he takes 2 years it might happen.
    5) Wood – still sees himself as a starter, a role he wouldn’t have here. If no one gives him a chance at being a starter (and I think someone like the Angels will), he might come back here as a reliever.
    6) Joc – he’s been a big part of the clubhouse here and I’m sure he’ll miss being a Dodger, but someone will offer him more money and a chance for more playing time and he’ll leave.
    7) Kike – his incredible versatility will play well with lots of GM’s. Someone could easily offer him a starting job and still know they could move him around all over the place. I expect him to get a 3 year deal somewhere.

  2. I agree with all your points Jeff, except Baez, I’m not sure what to think about him. I would never give him 3 years, maybe not even two years, so I guess it will depend on what kind of contract he expects, or is willing to settle for.

    The players I’d like to see back the most, are JT, and Treinan.

    1. I agree that giving Baez three years is too much and I could certainly understand it if AF thought 2 years was too much or didn’t even want him back at all. Over the past two or three years I’ve gone from despising Petey to thinking he actually has value. I’m just never sure how much value, so I’ll be OK with whatever happens – bringing him back or not.

  3. I’m in the same boat about Baez he was good most of the time during this season, then the further the dodgers got into the playoffs the worse he got. I would like to get off of the Baez roller coaster myself, just not have to witness it anymore.

  4. I have to believe JT is at the top of the list, and there is interest from both sides in Trienen returning. I think the least likely are Joc and Kike. Wood, Meh, he has uses, but he really except for the last game of the year did not impress me much, and Jeff is right, he wants to be a starter. Even though Baez is comfortable in LA, I think there are a lot of relievers just like him on the market. McGee would be on my list, but with the emergence of Gonzalez, I am not sure he is in their plans. I also think the # 1 candidate to be non tendered is Scott Alexander.

    1. Treinen is a possibility. But there is a report in MLBTR this morning that Hand is on their radar. Only warning sign is his drop in velocity. A full 2 MPH this season. Lasorda is off of the ventilator and resting comfortably . He has talked with Sax,Amalfitano and Fred Claire.

  5. That’s great news, about Lasorda, thanks bear.

    Which guy would you rather see the dodgers sign, between those two. I think the drop in velocity has me a little nervous about Hand, but maybe the Dodgers think it’s a mechanical thing that they can fix.

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