Which Remaining Free Agents Could Dodgers Theoretically Sign?

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

We are now only a couple of weeks from the planned commencement of 2021 Spring Training. After the Players Association rejected the league’s proposal for a 154-game season yesterday, MLB announced that it is planning to start Spring Training and the MLB season on time. If everything goes according to plan, Spring Training would start on February 17 and the season on April 1.

With spring camp slated to start so soon, free agents have been signing with teams at a faster pace over the past couple of weeks. MLB has made life harder on National League teams, as there yet has to be a final word whether the universal designated hitter will return.

Obviously, if the universal DH returns, it is a boost to teams being able to write in another bat on the lineup card. With the Dodgers, we saw skipper Dave Roberts ease back players returning from injury while giving guys a day off periodically. If the DH returns, it is a big boost to the Dodgers, perhaps allowing them to sign an extra bat while also showing versatility in their everyday lineups.

Here’s a look at some remaining free agents the Dodgers can possibly sign. To make it interesting, I will leave out any players that spent last season with the Dodgers.

Marcell Ozuna/ Nelson Cruz

These signings could depend on the return of the universal DH. While they aren’t completely ruled out if there is no DH, it could theoretically lessen their chances. Ozuna normally plays the outfield but benefited from the DH spot this past season with the Atlanta Braves. Ozuna is currently 30 years old and signed a one year deal last offseason. It has been reported that the Dodgers and Ozuna did have some mutual interest.

Cruz is highly unlikely if there is no DH. Recently, the 40-year-old veteran has expressed interest in coming to Los Angeles if there is a DH position. Last season, Cruz posted a .303 batting average and knocked in 33 RBI. Ozuna, meanwhile, tallied a .338 batting average and 56 RBI. If either player happens to sign with the Dodgers, it is likely to be due to the universal DH returning, a role these two would likely feel comfortable with.

Trevor Bauer

The reigning National League Cy Young winner is still a free agent this late into the offseason. The rumors have ramped up with Bauer and the Dodgers, as he could possibly seek a short-term deal with a higher AAV. The Dodgers are rumored to be open to trading David Price, who is planning to pitch after opting out of the shortened season last year. However, Price’s hefty contract could hurt a trade with potential trading partners. The only way Bauer and the Dodgers agree to a deal seems to be a one or two-year contract at this point. Bauer pitched himself to a 1.73 ERA in the 2020 shortened season.

Maikel Franco

This move seemingly comes out of nowhere at this point in the winter. The Dodgers have to do absolutely whatever they can to bring back Justin Turner. But, in case Turner does not return, they will have to look for a replacement. Edwin Rios can possibly slide into the hot corner; however, they will still need depth, preferably somebody who hits from the right side of the plate. Franco is a buy-low player. He’s still only 28 years old, so he has a couple of years of his prime left.

No one is going to replace Turner, but the Dodgers will need to make a move if Turner is ruled out. Franco, who spent last year with the Royals, hit .278 and knocked in 38 runs. He’s a career .252 hitter, and his season-high for home runs was 25 back in 2016 with the Phillies. There aren’t many options left on the market, as some of the Dodgers’ alternative plans have signed elsewhere. Think of an investment in Franco like the way Turner arrived in Los Angeles on a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp. I’m not saying Franco will turn into Turner, but it would be a perfect example of an Andrew Friedman reclamation type of project.

28 thoughts on “Which Remaining Free Agents Could Dodgers Theoretically Sign?

  1. OK, the players have said no to the owners and ST will start as scheduled, mid month. That still doesn’t mean we won’t have a repeat of last year where a few weeks into it the whole thing has to be shut down because of a major breakout of Covid cases. That’s what I’m expecting. If I were in Vegas today I’d be betting the season will not start as scheduled on April 1st.

    MLB is not using an NBA-style bubble and the new variants of Covid from the UK, South Africa and Brazil are said to spread much faster and easier than the original one. This is a problem waiting to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hopefully they sign Turner. If not internal options to see how they play then a trade before the deadline.
    Franco is not a bad idea as a just in case type deal.

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    1. If JT doesn’t come back, I could see Andrew trading for Bryant, who could play some third and also some left field because we know that Pollock won’t play a full schedule of games.

      Then after seeing if we’ve gotten the Bryant who rakes or the Bryant who hasn’t met expectations, we could consider signing him long term if we are unable to resign Seager.

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  3. Trade for Indians Ramirez. Lux,and Ruiz and White if they have to then guarantee his options
    And extend him cheap . Save money for next years free agents or add Ozuna now.

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  4. BTW David Price is still a good pitcher …. and Ramirez is the Real Deal! Indians want Lux and Ruiz
    Badly.. make the deal and pick whatever shortstop you want Next year..

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  5. We all hate to give up top prospects in a trade, but a Ramirez for Lux, and Ruiz, wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Boy it would hurt, but you don’t get a player of that caliber without a little pain.

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  6. Like

  7. I agree Ramirez would be a great acquisition and we have the players, prospects to make that happen. He is a switch hitter too, with good defense and speed as well. 5 tool player. Besides 3B, also very experienced at 2B and SS. Very friendly contract thru 2023, his age 30 season.
    Franco is also interesting but much less so than Ramirez. Could probably sign him for $4-5M for a year or two until Hoese is ready. A platoon of Franco and Rios could easily produce 30 HRs at 3B, but defense would be below average.
    When I saw the recent rumors about moving Price, it made me suspect they may be talking to the Cubs about Bryant to help offset the salaries. The Cubs need starting pitching with Darvish and Lester gone. So maybe something like Price, White, Alexander and an IF prospect like Vargas would get it done. If Bryant bounces back, the challenge than would be to sign both he and Seager after 2021. Or maybe just move on and go with Hoese in 2022, if ready.
    Of course, I really wish they would decide on the DH for sure, because we could bring back JT under that scenario as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If the Dodgers want to resign Buehler and Bellinger and a high$ shortstop and extend Kershaw
    They need to spend less on some positions why not Ramirez he will be cheaper than Bryant.
    Unless they start saving for those expensive free agents or sign their homegrown players earlier
    It will be too costly.. hell right now even the famous peanut vendor is out of a job!
    ,

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  9. Suarez has terrific numbers and would cost a lot less than Turner. His homer and RBI numbers are very strong and on the increase.

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    1. Suarez had a so-so year last year but other than that he’s been very good, and lots of guys had off years last year so we won’t hold that against him.
      You say he would cost a lot less than JT. What do you think it would cost to bring JT back? Suarez is averaging about $11MM for the next four years and then there’s a team option for $15MM for the year after that. You might prefer Suarez to Turner but do you really think JT would be that much more expensive?

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  10. I really like Ramirez. He is as others have stated 28 and has options until 2023. He is a switch hitter and good defensively. I like him more than Bryant as he has a couple of years of control and stats say he is better on defense.
    I do think the Competitive Balance Tax aka the Luxury Tax will be vastly changed or eliminated in the next Player Contract. IF the Owners will not budge on it there will be a strike.

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  11. Suarez is a great power hitter signed for cheap ….. but he cannot play multiple positions nor
    Can he steal a base or bat left or right handed and he strikes out way too much and hardly ever
    walks …Ramirez is also younger.

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  12. What do you all think about this. Players love to Win go to the World Series get a Ring and play in
    Nice weather and make a ton of Money …. So with Arenado and Bauer opt out in one year and join
    the Dodgers when the Dodgers will have lots of money to spend … both players from southern Cal .???

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    1. I think they might take that package of 3 for Suarez but no way they give us Castillo just for taking Moustakas, although his contract is really horrific. Boy did they overpay him.

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      1. And I also don’t think AF does those three for Suarez even though the Reds would probably do that deal.

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  13. I meant everyone in that trade not those three must include Castillo and Moustakas bad contract
    And I will give the reds Josiah Gray. Now there is the Carrot … Reds save $29 million Dodgers trade
    Price stay under salary cap ……??

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  14. Well, at least we have something to keep us occupied while we wait for the announcement that the Mets have signed Bauer.
    So it’s Lux, Ruiz, White and Gray for Suarez, Castillo and Moustakas?
    They owe Big Mike something like 50 mil. That may be a deal breaker, but it’s something to think about. He went to high school about 5 minutes from where I live so I’m sure he’d love to come home.

    OK, so where are you trading Price and for what?

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    1. If the Dodgers have decided to go over the Cap that might mean they do not think the cap survives the next Payers Union contract which I think is the likely outcome. Many have wondered if the Dodgers would stay North of the Cap for metrics, pressure from the other owners, or the league in general. If the Dodgers are not concerned about it then taking on Moustakas’s contract would not be that bad if they could get Suarez. And the Dodgers could use a second baseman. Plus Moustakas is reportedly a clubhouse leader and a good guy. Suarez does strikeout a lot and does not walk but he is still not in his prime years, has a friendly contract, and with better coaching might improve on that. Suarez can hit the ball which is the point…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Knowing how AF rolls he would probably squeeze some money from the Reds to buy down
    Moustakas contact… Also might have to give a prospect or some money to dump Price but
    he still has plenty of value at $16 million a year Boston pays $16 million a year also to him..

    Liked by 1 person

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