What Would Chris Taylor’s Departure Mean for the Dodgers?

The Hot Stove season is starting to heat up in Major League Baseball, as some free agents and trades are beginning to happen.

Many think that there will be a flurry of moves before the December 1st deadline in which a new collective bargaining agreement needs to be met. New Dodger Andrew Heaney mentioned this in his decision to sign early with the team, so he could avoid that and get started on getting his pitching back on track sooner.

November 17th is looming ever so quickly, which is the deadline for players to accept or refuse qualifying offers. Chris Taylor refused the Dodgers’ offer, which this season was $18.4M, in favor of testing the free agency market. It doesn’t mean he won’t re-sign with the Dodgers, just that he’s looking for a longer term contract.

Quite a few teams are interested in CT3, and with good reason. His versatility and clutch hitting make him a desirable acquisition. Teams that maybe can’t afford a Trevor Story or Corey Seager at shortstop could look to Taylor to fill that hole at a reduced rate compared to what those two would command. The centerfield market is also particularly slim, and Taylor could be seen filling in that slot for a team also.

So what would it mean if the Dodgers are unable to re-sign the All-Star utility man? The Dodgers have all of their position players returning, with the caveat that if the Dodgers also don’t re-sign Seager, Trea Turner will slide over to his usual spot at short and Gavin Lux would presumably become the full time second baseman.

What will be slim is the players off the bench. Currently the Dodgers would just have Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty to fulfill that role. Rios plays first and third, and could spell Justin Turner there, especially if the National League adopts the designated hitter. Beaty plays first and some left field, but not too many other places around the diamond.

The Dodgers also have a smattering of outfielders off the bench, like Billy McKinney, Zach McKinstry and Luke Raley. McKinstry however finished his season in Triple-A Oklahoma City, and McKinney and Raley were not ever quite able to put it together and contribute down the end of the season.

If the Dodgers were not to re-sign CT3, they may have to look at the way their team is constructed. Their big MO the past few years is to have players of great versatility, and giving players plenty of rest during the season to keep them fresh for the playoffs. Taylor departing would leave a huge hole in that department. Taylor is special in that he was able to fill in for so many different spots on the field and the lineup didn’t miss much of a beat.

As constructed now, the team has a few options to spell the outfielders and corner positions, but not really any one to fill in at short and second to get T. Turner and Lux off their feet. Sheldon Neuse is the only one on the 40-man currently that has played at second, besides sliding Max Muncy over.

It’ll be interesting to watch the market for Taylor, and how the Dodgers respond if he were to sign elsewhere. We have may have an answer as to if he will return sooner than later.

18 thoughts on “What Would Chris Taylor’s Departure Mean for the Dodgers?

  1. I find Andy’s article a sobering look at the state of Dodger position depth. In general I am in favor of building teams from a strong farm system that gives the team player control during the early part of their careers. I am less in favor of signing free agents over 30 who often are paid based on passed accomplishments and who inevitably are closer to the decline years of their career. However, I don’t see anyone in the farm system who can make up for loss of a multi-positional player like Taylor. Not even combinations of players.

    One benefit of Taylor is that he allowed the Dodgers to carry a ‘thin’ bench to have more pitching depth. Without Taylor how many guys would you need to give separate depth at 1B-3B, 2B-SS, corner outfield, centerfield? Because of Taylor’s example, I wonder if teams will pay more attention to developing dedicated multi-position players early in the minors? Particularly those who can play 2B-3B-SS with good defense and good bat.

    1. For the second time in the past few days I find myself nodding in agreement with your post, Waldo. I hope you’ll increase your comments here. You definitely add to the conversation.

      1. Thanks. I am more of a sabermetrics/number crunching guy. But the Dodgers are in a fascinating position to watch now. Sooner or later significant roster changes will occur, and the fundamental questions are:
        1. Do you do a quick 2 year rebuild on the fly, even if it makes you less competitive in the interim, or
        2. Squeeze a few more years out of an ageing roster by paying top dollar for free agents and trading MiL propects.
        Doing a little of each may not be as successful as going full-bore with one or the other. Wish we knew how deep the Dodger pockets really are.

      2. I don’t think the Dodgers will know how deep their pockets are until the new CBA is put together. All might hinge on how any possible penalties will be implemented.

  2. Replacing Chris Taylor with one player is not going to happen. There just are not a lot of players around with that kind of skill set. There is one, but he is on the Red Sox. But, I would love to see them try and work a deal with Arizona for Marte. He is available. The guy can flat out rake, and he is a very good defender.

    1. Marte (we’re talking Ketel here, not Starling) would have all 29 other teams after him if the D’backs decided to move him.

      What would you think AF would have to give up to get him, Bear? Two years remaining at approx 8 mil per year and a third year team option at 10 mil.

      Everyone else, please feel free to chime in. I need to get this information to Andrew.

      1. Well the D-Backs look to be in full rebuild mode. I would say a couple of their top 10 prospects. Not sure who they might want, and maybe a fringe player or two. Maybe even Lux and a couple of prospects. I really like the guy. Just am horrible at trades.

      2. I would imagine they would start by asking for Lux and two of our top 5 or 6 prospects. I don’t think AF would do it, but I agree with you, he’s a very good ballplayer.

      3. I don’t either, but at this point, he is a much better option at 2nd than Lux is. He also is a pretty good center fielder. Pretty sure he could slide over to SS if needed.

  3. Well Verlander is off of the board. Resigned with the Asterisks for one year plus an option. Will get 25 mil this year. Belt back to the Giants, he accepted the QO. Only player to do so.

  4. Burnes won the Cy Young. My opinion is that they did not count Max’s second half performance for as much as they should have. He had an ERA below two during that stretch and if memory serves me right, the Dodgers did not lose a single game he started. Not one single Dodger has won an individual award this year.

  5. The CY could have gone to Max, and I don’t think anyone would have complained, but Burns is no slouch, he is a very good young pitcher. I’m a little jealous of the Brewers, with Burns, Woodruff, and Peralta, they have some very good young pitching. They are going to be in the mix for their division for the next couple of years. They could be a dangerous team, if they could get a little bit of offensive help, and another bullpen arm, or two, to help Hader.

    1. The Brewers have another bullpen arm in Devin Williams, who may just be the second best reliever in baseball after Hader, assuming he recovers from his broken hand (got that while punching a dugout wall————-I didn’t say he was smart). Their pitching may be the best in the majors but as you mentioned Keith, they could use a little more offense. If they add a couple of good hitters they could be really tough.

  6. It would be nice if ownership for the Brewers would step up, and open the purse strings this season, how often in baseball will one team have pitching like this. I think Lauer has a good chance to be real good also

Leave a Reply