Just when you thought the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to let all of their excellent free agents join other teams, and not make big news ahead of the MLB lockout, the front office once again proved us all wrong.
In late innings of getting the deal done fashion, the Dodgers have reportedly re-signed their utility man extraordinaire Chris Taylor to a multi-year contract. The deal is reportedly for four years, $60M with an option for a fifth year making it worth $73M total. The signing is awaiting a physical to become official.
Sheldon Neuse was designated for assignment to make room for Taylor on the 40-man roster.
After Corey Seager chose the Texas Rangers to be his home for the next ten years, it seemed even more pertinent that the Dodgers bring back Taylor. With his ability to play well anywhere on the field and hit anywhere in the lineup, he fills a bunch of holes that would have been left by his departure. Signing CT3 is equivalent to signing two bench player because of that versatility.
Taylor made his first All-Star appearance in 2021, but fell off in the second half. He went on to provide the Wild Card heroics, sending the Dodgers to the NLDS to face the San Francisco Giants.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers made official their other free agent signing of this early winter, right handed reliever Daniel Hudson. The exact amount of the contract has not been disclosed as of this writing, but it is believed to be around $7M for one year. Hudson had previously pitched for the Dodgers in 2018, where he went 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He missed the final six weeks of the season dealing with forearm tightness. Hudson appeared in a combined 54 games for the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres last season, going 5-3 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
Reliever Corey Knebel, who had a good season for the Dodgers in relief, was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. Hudson will try to fill that role left by Knebel.
The Dodgers are said to be in pursuit of free agent Freddie Freeman. The All-Star first baseman is said to be impatient with the Atlanta Braves for not offering a contract to his liking. Freeman would provide a very good, consistent left handed bat in the lineup, filling the void left by Seager leaving. Also with Max Muncy’s recovery time unknown, it would fill that open first base role.
If the last few days of negotiations have been any indication, the winter will be long while the MLB owners and Players’ Union try to work something out that appeases both sides and gets the season started on time. At this point they seem far apart in their deliberations and it could be a boring, lengthy few months waiting for any baseball news.
In happy news, congratulations go out to Cody Bellinger on becoming a father. He and his girlfriend Chase Carter welcomed a baby girl earlier this week, named Caiden Carter Bellinger.