Once again Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have met to discuss the current lockout, and once again we are no closer to not knowing when the lockout will end and if the season will start on time.
As there is not much to report about from ongoing negotiations, beat writers and bloggers alike are resorting to creating possible scenarios the Los Angeles Dodgers could pursue once the collective bargaining agreement has been passed.
In his ESPN article on Wednesday, Alden Gonzalez covers five possible landing spots for free agent Freddie Freeman, with the Dodgers being one of those teams. The All-Star and former NL MVP would be a huge addition to an already stacked Dodgers lineup.
Freeman is a California boy, and it is curious as to why the Atlanta Braves did not make a bigger push to re-sign their homegrown talent before the lockout. Freeman made it know after their World Series win that he wanted to return to the only big league team for which he’s ever played.
If Freeman joins the team, he would take over at first base. In the short term, that fills a hole left by Max Muncy. Depending on when the season starts, Muncy may or may not be ready for play when it begins – the earlier the season starts, the less chance of Muncy being fully healed from his torn UCL. When Muncy does finally return, it seems that he would move into a rotating roll of first, second, and third base.
With Chris Taylor already in the super utility roll, and if Muncy joined him in that aspect with Freeman continuing the majority of the time at first, that would presumably also move Gavin Lux into somewhat of a part time roll, splitting second base with Taylor and Muncy.
A surplus of good players is never a bad thing. A lineup of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Freeman, Taylor and Cody Bellinger is about as formidable a top six as you would find anywhere. Freeman’s left-handed bay would replace that of departed Corey Seager in the lineup. Rotating time at different positions has been the Dodgers MO for awhile now, and with the probable inclusion of the designated hitter in the National League, the Dodgers most certainly could make it work.
I think most Dodgers fan would agree that signing Freeman would be a great thing. But Gonzalez also floats the idea of if Freeman were to be signed, either Lux or Trea Turner could be traded.
Freeman’s presence would make the Dodgers’ lineup look just as scary as it did during the stretch run of the 2021 season, but it could also give them more flexibility to make a trade. Lux – who the Dodgers have always been reluctant to trade – could be used in pursuit of starting pitching help, preventing the front office from having to overpay in a free agent market that quickly dried up. Turner – a year away from free agency – could be used to restock a farm system that has thinned out at the top.
It’s true that the Dodgers did just trade away their top two prospects to the Washington Nationals last season to acquire TTurner and Max Scherzer. It did not yield them a World Series title, and Scherzer has moved on to New York. Starting pitching is the sore spot of this Dodgers’ roster, with just three true starting pitchers currently on the roster. Mitch White is still young, David Price is past his starting prime, and Dustin May won’t return until halfway through the season. It is also still unknown if Trevor Bauer will pitch again for the Dodgers, or if Clayton Kershaw will chose to return to the Dodgers.
President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has always been crafty in figuring out how to make a roster better, and he’s had lots of time to scheme scenarios in his head. No doubt he has many thoughts on how to acquire a starting pitcher or two. Of the two, I think Lux would be more likely to be traded, as he has seemingly not yet been able to reach his potential with the Dodgers and a change of scenery might do him some good.
Like bloggers and beat writers, we will all just continue to wonder and conjecture until MLB and the MLBPA reach an agreement. Hopefully it’s sooner than later before we all run out of ideas.
32 thoughts on “Should the Dodgers Sign Freddie Freeman, and Should a Trade Follow?”
Some interesting stuff to think about, Andy.
If we sign Freeman, another name you could add to the list of trade possibilities is Muncy. Not that I’m saying AF would be likely to do it, but it does become a possibility. Muncy has two years left on his contract (this year plus a team option) and he’s earning less than half of what Freeman will probably sign for (annual salary).
As far as I’m concerned, if they can’t find an every day spot for Lux this year, I think they should trade him. He’ll never reach his potential as a utility player.
Trading Trea doesn’t make much sense to me unless you are positive you won’t be able to re-sign him. Even then, an infield of Freeman, Muncy (2nd base), Lux (shortstop) and JT (third base) is not a very good defensive infield.
I think the question remains – who would you prefer at first base, Muncy or Freeman.
Or another question, who would you prefer, Freddie at 30 million or Max at 13 plus another player at 17 mil? We all know the Dodgers aren’t afraid to spend but they do have their limits.
Another question, how would you feel about paying Freddie 30 mil per year 4, 5 and 6 years from now?
I think a better question is would you rather trade for Matt Chapman and a pitcher or sign Freedman and start moving players all around the infield?
Freedman, 1st base, big bat, big contract, don’t need another big contract or a 1b
Chapman, 3rd base, big bat, small contract but costs prospects, JT DH/1b/3b
I think Chapman is more of a big glove than a big bat, although his bat definitely has some power in it. But he only hit .210 last year.
I’d still prefer a third baseman who hit left handed but I must admit I can’t think of anyone at this point. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Rios will come back strong. We’re a little short on lefty hitters and if we’re going to platoon someone with JT it’s probably better if that guy hits left handed.
Ok, I’ll answer my own question..
I’m fine with Muncy at first. I don’t make any changes on our infield yet. Turner/(Rios), Turner, Lux, Muncy. Pollock, Bellinger, Betts. Smith. Taylor, Barnes Beaty McKinstry. Buehler, Urias, Gonsolin, Heaney, Price, Bauer, Duffy and assuming someone is added in that mix, and May back late. Treinen closes. Hudson,Vesia,Kelly, Bickford, Graterol, Bruihl, Ferguson, Nelson, Pitchers with ETA of this year – Miller, Pepiot, Beeter. Not sure about Jansen and Kershaw but won’t be surprised if both are gone.
This squad is a potential Division winner as is with 100 wins. San Diego is second, SF third. I fully expect moves to be made of course but as long as Muncy’s arm checks out I see no reason to make a move at first base. And I sure hope Lux is taking this off season seriously. It’s time.
Kelly and Nelson are free agents again and while both were effective last year, they cannot stay healthy enough to be relied on. LA overpaid for Kelly for what he provided over the length of the contract.
I’m OK with the offense you’ve laid out, Scoop, and the bullpen is OK also, except as Gary points out, both Nelson and Kelly are free agents and Nelson probably won’t even pitch this year because of his surgery. I’d still very much like to see Kenley back. If we sign Duffy, he won’t be back until mid year at the earliest.
What scares the hell out of me is the starting staff you’ve put up here. Gonsolin and Heaney have never had success for any length of time. To depend on them as 2 of your 5 starters is not something I would do. I think Price is pretty much finished as an every fifth day starter so I don’t count on him either. Bauer would be a substantial addition if we ignore all of the other issues with him. Kershaw is iffy at best. That’s a surgery just waiting to happen. We need one more starter if Bauer returns, two if he doesn’t. How and who I’ll leave up to Andrew.
“and assuming someone is added in that mix“
I added that because I’m pretty sure someone will be added to that mix.
Nelson surgery. It was more involved than I thought, we probably won’t see him, though it sure seems some guys are getting back on the field more quickly these days. I think the Dodgers are open to signing Kelly and there’s always a reclamation project Friedman finds. I guess I’m just not that concerned as others. As is we project 100 wins. We will get more better players. We always do.
Mitch White is actually 27 so not so young. I thought he pitched well at times and maybe should be given a shot at a bigger role. Better than the revolving door of cast offs used last year.
Trea Turner should be extended. He is truly a 5 tool player.
Extensions are a two-way street. Not only does the team have to offer it, but the player has to agree to it.
What’s your gut tell you with TT Jefe?
I think Trea is exactly the kind of player that Andrew would love to keep here and he will probably be willing to pay him good money to do so (it’s going to take over 300 mil, I believe). I think we’ll be very pleased with his defense at short this year, which is his preferred position. Maybe not gold glove, but definitely an improvement over Corey. Couple that with his batting and speed and you have somebody worth keeping. Question is, has/will Trea’s experience in L.A. been positive to the point where he’ll want to come back. I would say the odds of his getting extended or coming back after becoming a free agent are about 50-50. AF always plays the long game. I don’t think he brought him here with the idea of letting him go after two years, but Trea has a say in that also.
Trea will get what he wants where he wants. If he likes LA, he won’t find a more competitive organization. But, he may be an East Coast guy. I have no idea what he is thinking but I’m pretty sure he will put up serious numbers playing shortstop in a contract year.
I’d love to see Freeman here, but I realize it screws up the defense. He is a constant reliable player, whether we would like to admit it or not, we have a lot of question marks on offense. How long will Max be out, what will his bat be like when he gets back.? Will Bellinger be back to his old self or not? Can Lux hit big league pitching consistently? How many games will JT be able to play due to age, and injury, he misses a fair amount of games each season from injuries, will he get any of his power back, that he seems to be losing, can he hit 20 HRs? How many games will Pollock lose to injuries, we all know it’s going to happen.
This may sound like I’m down on the team, I’m not they have tremendous up side, IF everything goes well. Freeman is insurance, In case a few of those things go wrong, the team would still be good even if one or two of the guys are struggling. Right now TT, Mookie, and CT3 are the only players that I’m not concerned about, that says to me we have a few to many question marks.
Signing Freeman means draft pick compensation since he was offered a QO. So one question that needs to be answered, are the Dodgers willing to give up a draft choice if Freddie is signed? The starting rotation has four guys with MLB experience as starters and no one behind them. An injury to any of those guys and any division win is pretty much down the toilet. I am not counting Bauer since his situation is far from finished. The offense has the POTENTIAL to be very good. But, a few things have to happen. Bellinger has to return to his MVP form, Lux has to take this opportunity to prove once and for all that he belongs in the everyday lineup and on this team. Rios has to show from the outset that he can give JT the rest he needs and provide some pop. If Muncy is not going to be ready, and at the rate MLB and the MLBPA are negotiating, we won’t know until mid March, then temporary or other moves are going to need to be made. The outfield is set, The bench is a question mark, the bullpen has some good pieces, but could use a couple more. Starting pitching is amazingly, the weak point on this team. This missed out signing any of the major free agent pitchers, so it seems maybe they will get one via trade. I will wait until I see Heaney in action in training to see if he is using what the Dodgers think they have found to be more consistent. Price is a more than decent swing man.
Hadn’t realized Freddie had a QO attached to him. One more reason to think long and hard before trying to sign him.
Someone find me a guy who hits left handed, can play third base and left field, is a major force in the lineup and would come without giving up the entire farm system.
Have to agree with that. Kyle Seager retired…LOL…..Not many fit that description. You know that the A’s are going to want a haul for Chapman.
McKinstry. That is if Rios doesn’t pan out. Vargas will step in soon.
If you’re going to nominate ZMac then I suppose Beaty qualifies also, but I want someone who is more of a force in the lineup. I like both of those guys for the bench but not for someone who would start 4-5 days a week at third, outfield or DH.
McKinstry can play third base and the outfield. Beaty is there to hit and frankly I’d like to improve that roster spot. I think McKinstry is much better than he showed last year and believe he will outperform his projections at BR.
He doesn’t exist Jeff, that’s why I think Freeman may have to be a serious consideration, but even as I type this, I know Freeman isn’t the perfect fit, he’s just the next best option. The perfect answer is the mysterious player that you described.
Bear, has made good points, but that is also a lot of if’s.
This time of the year Keith, there usually are a lot of if’s. Very rarely does a team go into spring with all questions answered. And some injury will usually upset the apple cart. Guererro breaking his leg, Turner getting hit by a pitch, a strained groin, hangnail, you name it, sometimes it is going to happen.
Still patiently awaiting some sort of deal. 3 days left in this month, spring training usually starts in about 18 days. Get your stuff together MLB and MLBPA, the fans want the game back. And labor disputes a thing of the past…..for at least another 5 years. Dodgers, re-sign Kenley, sign Freddie, trade for a starter or two, Get a power RH bat for the bench.
My dream lineup, Freeman 1B, Lux 2B, Turner 3B. Turner, SS, Pollock, LF, Bellinger, CF, Betts, RF, Muncy. DH, Smith C. Rotation, Buehler, Urias, Gonsolin, Bauer, Heaney. BP Bruihl, Treinen, Graterol, Kahnle, Phillips, Vesia, Price, Jansen Bench, Rios, McKinstry, Barnes, Bryant,
A couple of questions come to mind on your dream lineup, Bear.
Bullpen – No Bickford? No Vgon? No Daniel Hudson?
Bench – What have you done with CT3? Who is Bryant? Kris Bryant? You’re going to pay him about 160 million to be a bench player? Or maybe you meant Taylor when you typed Bryant?
Meant Taylor, I do not expect much and you can only have 13 pitchers this season, So, I took the ones I felt have the best chance of being there opening day, You could put Hudson in Kahnle’s spot since he is a question mark. Bickford, V-gone both have options left. Brain cells not hitting on all cylinders today. If they sign Freeman, there would be no way they would sign Bryant. Maybe I was thinking they were interchangeable.
It’s cold in Colorado. You’re allowed some brain freeze.
I’d love to be able to teach Bryant how to hit lefty. That would solve my search for a lefty hitter who could play third and outfield.
No way Hudson doesn’t start the season on the roster, unless he’s injured. Seems like they have plenty of bullpen pieces. It’s the starters we need to worry about, but AF hasn’t finished yet, so I’m not going to worry……………….yet.
I think the Dodgers will trade for one SP. my best guess would be one of the two pitchers in oakland, Basset or Montas, unless Kershaw, and Bauer both come back.
Good for you bear for going out on a limb, and giving us an early projection, It may not be exact, but it is very possible.
Bryant plays the right positions, and Freeman has the stick we need. To bad we can’t blend them together, for the one perfect player.
You decide Keith. Are we calling him Kris Freeman or Freddie Bryant?
I’m not sure, what we’ll be calling him, but it’s going to be great watching him switching off between JT, at third, and filling in for Pollock, in left, when a tough righty is on the mound, oh man, and to watch that sweet left handed swing, cranking balls over the fence at the Ravine, I can’t wait😀