Three Players Who Could Return On Team-Friendly Deals, Other Hot Stove News

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and a good start to the Holiday Season. As we inch closer to that December CBA deadline, the Dodger player market has been stagnant.

Recently, the Dodgers signed right-handed pitcher Beau Burrows as he announced on his Twitter page. Burrows made his debut with the Detroit Tigers in 2020 and was most recently with the Minnesota Twins. He is a former first-round pick and is only 25 years old.

The Dodgers also signed outfielder Jason Martin to a Minor League deal; he has spent time at the Major League level with the Pittsburgh Pirates and most recently with the Texas Rangers. The left-handed-hitting Martin is only 26 years old.

Other than that, it has been relatively quiet coming from the Dodger camp other than reports that the Dodgers are aggressively looking to bring back Corey Seager.

Since today happens to be Black Friday, we will be taking a look at what players could return to the Dodgers on team-friendly deals with hometown discounts.

Kenley Jansen
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I haven’t heard much regarding the market surrounding Jansen, and it is hard to imagine him in a different uniform. He has the most saves in the Dodger franchise shirt, and obviously, he is nearing the end of his career. Maybe one team swoops in and offers Jansen big closer money due to the 2021 campaign he had, but ultimately I can see Jansen ending his career in L.A.

Joe Kelly
Kelly has been a big piece of the bullpen the past couple of years and has grown to be a fan favorite. Kelly went down in the playoffs with an arm injury effectively ending his 2021 campaign; but he is expected to be ready before the 2022 season. There have been reports that the Dodgers are looking to bring him back, but nothing yet is immediate due to his injury. The Dodgers declined Kelly’s $12 million option, but the reliever could potentially return for much less. I’d expect for him to resign maybe closer to Spring Training on a one-year deal.

Albert Pujols
This one may be quite obvious, but Pujols joined the Dodgers after being released from the Angels in the earlier part of the season. Pujols may be entering the final season of his career, if he does decide to return. However, he currently is playing winter ball so signs indicate he is returning. The Dodgers could decide to bring him back on a veteran minimum deal to provide a power bat off the bench. Pujols had some nice moments in the season, so having him another year before he can potentially call it quits could be a nice addition.

The rest of the free agents, like Kershaw, Scherzer and Taylor, will have bigger contracts and garner higher demands across the league if the agreement ever gets settled. Right now it is just a waiting game, to see when the dominoes fall.

Dodgers News, Notes and Rumors

The 2021-2022 Hot Stove season is heating up for other teams, but not so much for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After signing Andrew Heaney to a one year, $8M deal, not much else has been happening for the Dodgers as far as free agent signings.

As a team, L.A. has quite a few free agents that most fans would like for them to re-sign. At the top of most fans’ wish lists would be for them to welcome back Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager.

President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman was on MLB Network on Wednesday, where he stated that the Dodgers are being aggressive in regards to bringing back Seager.

If the Dodgers are successful in re-signing the shortstop, they will have to figure out what to do with Trea Turner. Turner was amenable to moving to second base to help the team after his trade from the Washington Nationals, but he may balk at staying there the whole next season.

Some have suggested that the Dodgers use Trea as a trade piece, possibly to a team like the Cincinnati Reds for some of their stellar pitching arms.

Also in an interview on MLB Network, Texas Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward said that the team has been in contact with Kershaw, and are interested in bringing him to Arlington.

I know we’ve been in contact with him. … Kersh and I are obviously really good friends. We believe in the same things as far as how to play the game; how to prepare. I’ve been honored to be around him for the three years I was in L.A. If he wants to come back to Texas, I’m pretty sure we’re gonna welcome him here. It’s home for him. I know he’d love to take his kids to school then go pitch a game that night. But it’s up to him. He’s had a tremendous legacy. I can’t speak enough just about the man himself after watching him for three years and being around him. It’d be a tremendous asset for us, especially with a young rotation. We’ve got a ton of talent on the starting staff, but they’re all young. His leadership and his guidance—honestly, he wouldn’t have to say a word. I would just ask those guys to just watch him—watch him prepare and watch how he goes about his business—and they’re going to naturally get better.”

Kershaw has been rumored to be considering joining the Rangers at every one of this free agencies, and so far has chosen to return to the Dodgers each time. But who knows what this one will bring. Kershaw seem content to take his time on his decision, even with the looming probable MLB lockout.

Two former Dodgers did just join the Rangers, however. Both Zach Reks and Billy McKinney were traded to Texas in exchange for cash considerations. They will join other former Dodgers who are now in the Rangers organization, like Josh Sborz, Dennis Santana and DJ Peters.

Dustin May has started working out at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. The pitcher had Tommy John surgery on May 11th, and is working his way back to full health. Both May and the team are hopeful he can return to pitching sometime after the All-Star break.

Latest Dodgers Rumors Regarding Free Agency

The rumor mill for this year’s offseason has been off to a hot start, and the Dodgers are involved in plenty of the speculation. Despite all the chatter, the only signing so far has been left-hander Andrew Heaney agreeing to a one-year deal.

The impending free agents the Dodgers have this offseason have been at the center of much of the talk. The Dodgers are bound to lose some important pieces, and the latest rumors have been swirling around.

Lately, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweeted that Chris Taylor could be an option for the Red Sox.

Boston signed ex-Dodger Kike Hernandez last offseason, and that worked out quite well for them; so another former Dodger utility man is of their interest. Honestly, I can see more than 70% of rival teams being interested in the services of Taylor. The Tigers and the Yankees are also expected to pursue Taylor, who declined an $18.4 million qualifying offer, which was expected.

The Tigers appear ready to spend big this offseason, as they are rumored to be after Corey Seager, in addition to the Rangers. Texas manager Chris Woodard, as you may remember, was previously in the Dodgers organization as the third-base coach.

Taylor and Seager are the Dodgers who’ve had the most traction of all the Dodger free agents, and they have some big decisions coming up ahead for them this offseason.

It appears that teams to watch out for this offseason are the Tigers, Rangers, and Yankees as the ones who will be most aggressive. The Angels, who recently sighted right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard to a one year deal worth $21 million dollars, are expected to pursue right-hander Max Scherzer heavily.

Surely, this week and a half before December 1 will be quite critical as the collective bargaining agreement and other factors come into play.

As far as the other impending Dodger free agents, Clayton Kershaw is expected to have several suitors, including his hometown Rangers, as well as the Yankees. As far as Kenley Jansen, Corey Knebel, and others go, there has not been much out there, but it surely will pick up soon.

This week the Cy Young Award Winners and MVPs were announced. Some Dodgers found themselves within the top 10 in voting; but unfortunately, no Dodgers won the award. Scherzer finished third in Cy Young voting, while Walker Buehler was fourth and Julio Urias eighth.

For MVP voting, Trea Turner finished the highest of any Los Angeles player at 5th place, and Max Muncy finished 10th.

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.

Which Free Agent’s Exit Would Be Most Detrimental to Dodgers?

Every day it seems more likely that a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) will not be agreed upon by December 1, which means we are probably headed for a lockout.

Continue reading “Which Free Agent’s Exit Would Be Most Detrimental to Dodgers?”

Dodgers Reportedly Sign Andrew Heaney; Max Scherzer Cy Young Finalist, Walker Buehler Snubbed

The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly have made their first free agent signing of the 2021 off-season, and it wasn’t Clayton Kershaw.

According to reports, LHP Andrew Heaney will be (re)joining the Dodgers. Heaney was once traded from the Miami Marlins along with Kiké Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Chris Hatcher to the Dodgers in 2014, only to be flipped to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Howie Kendrick two days later.

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Team Options, 40-Man Roster Spots and Early Rule 5 Thoughts

Although many speculate a slow winter until the league’s collective bargaining agreement is resolved, there are a few important dates approaching that will have an impact on team rosters across the MLB.

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3 Free Agents Dodgers Could Target During 2021-22 Offseason

We have now entered full offseason mode, and there will be periods in which rumors will come and go, some true and some not. Us as fans love to speculate, and it’s part of baseball fandom. The past couple of offseason periods were quite dry early and nothing did not really happen till closer to Spring Training, let’s hope there’s more clarity this time around, even as the chance of a strike looms.

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Early Thoughts on Chris Taylor and Free Agency

At the conclusion of the World Series over the next several days, the rumor mill the MLB calls its hot stove will kick into full gear and the baseball blogosphere will be publishing speculation galore.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be a focal point of that speculation, as there’s a chance a large part of their roster will look significantly different by the start of 2022 spring training.

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A Look at the National League West and 2021 MLB Trade Deadline

The 2021 MLB trade deadline week is upon us, and it will most likely go a long way in deciding which of three teams will win the NL West.

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