Juan Soto and Freddie Freeman – Future Dodgers?

The original start of Spring Training, when pitchers and catchers were to report, has come and gone, and yet no agreement has been met between the owners and players. The season most definitely will not start in time.

So while we wait for ownership to get their greedy butts in gear, let’s have some fun with theoretical future Dodgers players.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas tweeted that Juan Soto turned down a 13-year, $350M contract extension from the Washington Nationals. It seems a rather insulting offer for one of the best young talents in baseball today. Corey Seager just signed a 10-year, $325M contract with the Texas Ranger, and at 27 would be a year older than Soto will be in 2024 when his contract expires.

At only 23 years old, Soto finished second in NL MVP voting last season. His stats for his four years in the majors so far are incredibly impressive – a .301/.432/.550 slash line with 98 home runs, two silver sluggers, and a batting title already to his name. Add in a World Series win and a lifetime 17.2 WAR all lend to him being one of the most dynamic players in MLB.

It’s fun to imagine an outfield of Soto, Cody Bellinger, and Mookie Betts. There would be no better outfield in all of MLB.

While we’re spending ownerships’ money, let’s revisit the fun rumors that Freddie Freeman could also be coming to the Dodgers.

On Tuesday, former Brave Chipper Jones went on a local Atlanta radio show talking among other things, Freeman’s future in Atlanta.

“I don’t know, I haven’t talked to Freddie in quite some time, but I’m sure he’s probably a little frustrated this wasn’t done in Spring Training last year,” Jones said. “But the fact of the matter is we didn’t have any fans in the stands. We’ve got owners that didn’t know where revenue was going to be at the end of the year and maybe held out a little bit. The bottom line is, Freddie I believe before it’s all said and done will be playing where he wants to play. I know he’s a West Coast guy.”

Jones went on to say, “The Braves have made some offers, didn’t make him happy. He’s being courted by some of the prettiest girls on the block right now, he’s gonna listen to them.”

Of course, it would be three years until Soto and Freeman would both be on the Dodgers, barring the Dodgers somehow negotiating a trade with the Nationals again. And Trea Turner could also be gone by then, unless the Dodgers sign him to an extension in the meantime also.

The Dodgers have long been thought of by rival fans as “buying their team” on their way to trying to win championship(s). True fans and those with knowledge know that the Dodgers have consistently had one of the best farm systems in the majors. The Dodgers should just lean into the whole Evil Empire thought for the hell of it. Re-sign Clayton Kershaw and get him another ring by any means possible that’s really all that needs to happen.

42 thoughts on “Juan Soto and Freddie Freeman – Future Dodgers?

    1. I believe we are well over $200 mil. already, not much room left. Have to think Buehler and Julio will be priorities in the hear future, and this year they need at least 2 starters assuming Bauer will be back, at least I outfielder, assuming belli can get his average over the mendoza line and a couple if bench pieces. No idea how they are going to do that and sign 2/3 big names as well. It will be interesting to see how the payroll developes but we are truly crossing into the “buying a championship ” mode as we already know we don’t have much on the farm.

      1. Not sure why you think we need an outfielder this year since we have Mookie, Bellinger and Pollock with CT3 available if needed. I think money would better be spent on the starting staff, even if both Bauer and Kershaw are back, but especially if only one of them is. We can’t count on May to be an effective starter this year, even if he returns by mid year. And CK is just a TJ waiting to happen.

        If the front office decides money is no object, sure let’s get another outfielder, but if they want to watch their dollars I would put money into the starting staff and the bench first.

      2. Stop ruining my fun Gordon! 😉. Also, Keith Law just ranked the Dodgers as having the top farm system, so 🤷🏻‍♀️

      3. Mike Trout put up 10.5 WAR as a 20 year old, then did it again as a 24 year old. Cody Bellinger put up 8.6 WAR as a 23 year old. I think it’s likely more than just a couple of these enormous contracts will quickly become enormous boat anchors.

      4. You sure know how to make a guy feel bad Andy. But now that I’m here I might as well point out that a highly ranked farm system rarely results in a teams progress, as the rankings are based on young players that almost never progress to major league level. You might ask the padres.

  1. Soto reportedly turned down a 350 mil extension. I do not think LA would offer him more than that. Freeman is going to sign with the Dodgers when the lockout is over. That is my prediction for the year.

    1. Not exactly the boldest of predictions, but I’ll give you credit if it happens. I predict we won’t sign him.
      If/when they ever settle this thing, we are going to be in for an incredible couple of weeks with signings, trades, etc. It’ll be like Christmas in March, or April, or ………………………………..

    1. Agreed they need a starter(s), extend Turner, and lh bat in that order. Muncy’s throwing and batting after injury recovery may need additional support for an unknown length of time.

      1. Muncy hurt his non-throwing arm so I think his batting might be more affected than his throwing. Due to the lockout, we’re not getting any information on how his recovery is progressing, but I imagine Andrew has information through back channels. That information might have a major effect on how hard he does or doesn’t go after Freeman, or possibly someone like Garrett Cooper of the Marlins as a stop gap measure and who would be much cheaper than Freddie and a valuable bench piece. He could also DH and play the outfield once Max is back at 100%.

  2. Soto is under team control through 2024, so 350 million is a ‘discount’ from 2025 numbers for a generational player. In Washington this is just a shot in the dark to appease the fan base to say we offered 350 million. They did the same thing with Turner offering an extension that was well below what this year’s arbitration number would be and would be a major mistake on the players part to accept. This number could have worked after Soto’s second year, they are way off now. Freddie Freeman is much closer to market and could be the left handed bat they have been looking for. Olson for prospects gives some team control years, the farm system is still loaded, makes more sense to me.

    1. Olson only has two years of control remaining and would probably cost some valuable prospect capital. Unless AF decides to give him whatever $ he wants to stay long term, I’m not sure it would be worth the prospect price.

      As I think about why Atlanta hasn’t signed Freddie, I wonder if the plan is to trade for Atlanta native Olson. He might be one of the few players that would make Braves fans forgive letting Freeman go. Of course, he would cost Atlanta some heavy prospects as well when all they have to do is throw money at Freeman.

  3. But speaking of long term contracts I certainly think the owners would bring up the player ‘tanking’ issue on guaranteed contracts in negotiations. Most of these extreme contracts don’t work well for the teams involved. Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, all have missed tremendous amounts of time to injuries. Some players lose their drive or motivation. The players are individual contractors not union members, they cut their own deals and almost all are fully guaranteed. There needs to be a formula to protect the teams. e.g. 50% guaranteed with a post season review allowing for positive or negative adjustments for performance and player availability for play. Either party could ask for review if any of the parameters for performance or availability are 20% off of their contract negotiated target values

    1. One of the reasons CBA negotiations take so long is that neither side wants to give up something they had in a previous contract. Your idea of not totally guaranteeing player contracts would go over very well with the owners but if they even suggested that to the players, they would throw a fit. Guaranteed contracts might be the singular issue that means most to the MLBPA and I don’t see that ever changing.

      1. I don’t have don’t have or want to read the expired CBA but thought that guaranteed money was an individual contract item between team and player and not currently a CBA language issue. My understanding was that in baseball it has become the norm for high end contracts. If the teams had protection for poor performance or availability, and players could recoup additional wages for exceeding expectations it would go both ways. Right now the Nationals and the Angels are paying the bulk of their payrolls to recovering superstars, this is why smaller market teams can’t play the game and tank intentionally to get a core of team control players with a few free agents and make run.

      2. I would imagine that you are correct in saying that it is an individual contract proviso, but I just don’t see the union encouraging a player to sign a deal where he might not get everything he signed up for. Most of the time, the players listen to the union on these kinds of things. It’s the “I’m doing this for future generations of ballplayers” argument.

        I think your idea has some real merit. Certain guarantees but adjustments based on performance. However, I’m sorry to inform you Gj that MLB and the MLBPA do not consult me during negotiations. Anyway, I like your idea for whatever that’s worth.

      3. Just love gj’s idea. Those long term contracts rarely work out after 5/6 years, but the players will never agree to non-guaranteed contracts until the owners realize long term contracts don’t work. And stop handing them out. By and large the long term contracts are the product of bad teams and dumb owners it appears, with a few exceptions. Cross your fingers Andrew.

    2. Boat anchors.

      Soto is arb eligible for 3 years. He’ll be 26 as free agent. Arb him out $20 million, more than is expected, and he could, barring injury, make close to $70 million through his arb years. Chatter is saying $40 million. 13 years is nuts, unless the last 7 are paying for 2.5 WAR years. That would be around $22 million. 40×3, 30×3, he’s now well over 30 with his prime in the rear view. Now you can pay him $22 million as he DH’s to 2.5 WAR. Everybody’s happy. Especially Soto and his agent. Those fans in Washington who are paying for that contract? We’ll see how happy they remain for all those years.

  4. They have the prospects per all the recent reviews of the minors, and 2 years of team control versus 2 more years of Freddie money is substantial. Also gets the team younger, and allows Dodger only negotiation if they want to attempt an extension with Olson. This will be fast moving fluid situation, Friedman should have plans for Olson, Freeman, Rizzo, and Bryant in that order, depending on what he has to spend after taking care of starting pitching, and Turner extension, and knows the Muncie recovery timeline.

    1. One thing for sure, Andrew has umpteen multiple plans ready and will react accordingly once the CBA is settled.
      On the other hand, the negotiations meeting today lasted 15 minutes. Maybe Andrew needs to start planning for 2023.

    1. It will happen. Max won’t want to lose too many of his all time highest season paychecks just to raise the minimum wage. And the minimum wage guys can’t afford to miss any checks at all. The owners can always get other players, the players can’t get new owners. And their baseball clocks don’t stop ticking.

  5. MLB announced this afternoon that they feel an agreement needs to be reached by February 28th in order for the season to start on time.

    Jeff Passan tweeted this around 6:00 PM PST tonight:
    “While exact plans are not finalized, MLB and the MLB Players Association intend to hold multiple bargaining sessions — perhaps every day — as early as Monday, sources told ESPN. Multiple owners and players expect to fly in for sessions leading up to MLB’s stated Feb. 28 deadline.”

    That’s probably the most promising news we’ve heard since the lockout.

    1. It’s my opinion this thing needs mediation:

      https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33216787/mlbpa-rejects-mlb-offer-federal-mediator-enter-labor-negotiations-lockout

      I don’t understand why the Union flat out refused an arbiter. If you are serious about getting resolution, leave your egos at the door and sit down at the table with independent perspectives. But, not these egos. Millionaires vs billionaires. Yeah, what could go wrong with this bargaining.

  6. I am not worried about who might be a Dodger down the road. I look at this roster and see a lot of talent. I also see holes. One good thing is they do not have to go looking for a SS. They have one of the best in the league right now. All the lets sign Correa stuff has calmed down. I cannot see that guy ever in Dodger blue. Manny Mota is 84 today. Happy Birthday Manny. I was at Dodger Stadium when Dusty Baker hit his 30th on the last day of the season to give the Dodgers four players with 30 HR’s. Baker, Cey, Smith and Garvey. JR Richard was pitching for the Stros that day. Two guys hit their only homers of the season that game, Mota and Glen Burke. They used to say Mota could get out of bed on a cold December morning and hit a line drive. Dodger hitters today could learn a lot about hitting from him.

    1. Hitters hit. As a former hitter I swung a bat all winter. I was ready for live pitching right away. If I was in my 20’s I wouldn’t need weeks to get ready.

      My plan as commissioner…….

      I think it’s generally accepted that hitters are ahead of pitchers out of the gate. I have no problem with that. I hear players say Spring Training is “too long”. Not for the communities in which Spring Training takes place. I say make it longer for the economy of those regions. How to do that? Pitchers and catchers report a week earlier. But not all of them. Hitters report early too. But not all of them. Fans will show up whenever players do. Baseball players already have months off, stagger their arrival so fans can see every player up close starting Feb 1. Those that arrive early get some time off, to go home if they want. Have it in the contract that every player must be available and work out for fans for 4 weeks. That’s plenty of time to get ready. Pitchers seasons are obviously harder on their arms than than position players. Expand the roster for the first 90 days with additional pitchers available. This makes depth important. We’ll address that later. It involves other changes. Starters. A W for starters will no longer require 5 innings. A W for relievers will no longer be handed out the way it currently is. Team wins are more important than individual wins so that nonsense ends immediately. Players are currently paid by the WAR algorithms that have been developed by the math majors in all organizations. That will continue. Let’s face it, who starts the game is no longer valued as it once was. IP is of course important and will be valued. Pitching against middle order hitters will be valued higher. Saves are often acquired before the 9th. Let’s acknowledge that and reward that stat accordingly.

      I could go on, and probably will later, but I gotta go for a walk in the park. It’s one of the 7 things old people should do to keep from being “roped to your bed”. Read that in the Atlantic yesterday.

      1. What are the other 6? I’m even older than you are.
        Love your idea about expanding pitcher availability at the beginning of the season.

      2. 1. Don’t smoke. If you do, stop today

        2. Watch your drinking. If you have any indication of a problem with your drinking (you drink everyday, even if it’s a little, you got a problem)

        3.Maintain a healthy body weight

        4. Prioritize movement in your life. Every day. Life is dynamic, it’s essence is activity

        5. Practice coping mechanisms. Chances are if you live to past 70 some kind of ill luck will have squared up on your barrel. Learn how to work consciously, perhaps through spiritual practices or even therapy to avoid excessive ruminations on what’s wrong

        6. Keep learning. More education leads to a more active mind. I recently started learning about “the subtle art of not giving a f***”. It’s helped me. Maybe it could help some you other old farts. (I could post the link if our administrators don’t mind)

        7. Do the work to cultivate stable, long term relationships. For many of us, this includes a steady marriage, but it doesn’t have to.

      3. I seem to be doing fairly well, although I could shore up a couple of them.
        3. I could lose a few pounds
        7. Would you consider ours a stable, long term relationship? If not, that’s OK. My marriage is going on 35 years although my wife gave me a look last night that leads me to believe I might be in trouble.

      4. Well, as I see it the good news is she still cares enough to give you that look. Being ignored is worse, right?

  7. Me and my wife just celebrated our 35th on Valentine’s Day. I’m lucky she has put up with me all these years.

    I wouldn’t have thought about #7 until I read it, then it was pretty obvious how much sense it made.

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