Dodgers Miss Re-Signing Max Scherzer, Corey Seager in Free Agency

The MLB Hot Stove is scalding hot, with most players choosing to sign with a team before the assumed impending lockout begins on Wednesday, December 1.

There have been rapid fire signings by teams, and before one registers, the next one is announced. Two signing not missed by fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers are those of Max Scherzer and Corey Seager.

Scherzer reportedly agreed to a three-year, $135M contract with the New York Mets on Monday morning. While most fans didn’t think that Scherzer would be back with the Dodgers, it was fun to think about Max and Clayton Kershaw possibly pitching together for a few more years.

On Monday afternoon, Seager reportedly agreed to a deal with the Texas Rangers that would pay him $325M over the next 10 seasons. Although the Dodgers gave Mookie Betts a 10-year contract, that usually is not President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman’s MO.

While Seager leaving also doesn’t come as much of a surprise to Dodgers fans, it does hurt. Corey was a home-grown prospect, former Rookie of the Year, and 2020 NLCS and World Series MVP. But congrats to him for going out and getting his money.

There also was an alarming bit of news, spoken from the player themselves. On Monday afternoon, Max Muncy was on High Heat on MLB Network, where he disclosed that his arm is taking much longer to heal than anticipated.

“I’m not recovering as quick as I would like, but that’s what happens when you do some serious damage to your body. A torn UCL is a slow process.”

Muncy was hurt on the last game of the regular season after Jace Peterson of the Milwaukee Brewers ran through first base, and took Muncy’s glove and arm along with him. Muncy missed all of the 2021 playoffs.

The first baseman has not yet had surgery, but if he does, that would be a six to eight month recovery time. Even if he does not have surgery, it still won’t be certain if he will be ready to start the season on time.

Friedman and the Dodgers still have many options available to better the team. Freddie Freeman is still available in free agency. A trade with a team could be more plausible, bringing multiple players to address both the lineup and the rotation at the same time. The Oakland Athletics would be a great partner in that respect, possibly Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Frankie Montas, to name a few.

There is still time before the lockout deadline to get things done, and Friedman always has a plan. Besides the Trevor Bauer disaster, he has always come through with acquiring top tier players to fill out the roster, although his process is usually slower than most fans would like. Just more of the wait and see game for Dodger fans right now until Friedman has put his plan in place.

Max Scherzer Likely to Make Contract Decision Ahead of MLB Lockout

In a bit of hot stove news on Sunday, we learned that there’s a good possibility Max Scherzer could decide on his future team before the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement deadline.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network initially reported the news, adding that the Dodgers, Giants, Angels and Mets are among the frontrunners to land the 37-year-old righty.

The current CBA between the MLB and the players association expires at midnight on December 1, meaning that fans could see Scherzer decide on his future sometime over the next three days. Should no agreement be reached before the deadline, it is believed that a major league transaction freeze will be implemented until both sides find common ground.

We’ve heard a lot of chatter the Dodgers could be one of the teams trying to secure a handful of core players before the potential lockout, but we really haven’t seen any significant acquisitions aside from lefty pitcher Andrew Heaney two weeks ago.

The Mets have been extremely aggressive in the days leading up to the deadline, having already signed stars like outfielder Starling Marte and infielder Eduardo Escobar.

Other teams across the league have been aggressive with free-agent pitchers so far this winter, as notables like Justin Verlander, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz have already signed contracts.

As it stands, the current setup for the 2022 Opening Day Los Angeles rotation looks like Walker Buehler and Julio Urias with the strong possibilities of Heaney and Tony Gonsolin. Lefty David Price could also be an option, but no matter how far he was stretched out last season, he was never really able to go much farther than four innings. Youngsters Mitch White and Andre Jackson could also be in the picture.

We haven’t heard any significant rumors about Clayton Kershaw lately, who was seemingly spared the qualifying offer to allow him more time to think about his future plans. Obviously, the Dodgers are the favorites to land Kersh, although there have been rumblings about the Rangers being interested.

There’s still not any clarity on the future of Trevor Bauer. Many pundits believe that he’ll never pitch in a Los Angeles uniform again. However, whether the Dodgers will be on the hook for his 2022 salary could be a factor in how actively the team participates in this winter’s free agent market.

The Dodgers acquired Scherzer before last season’s trade deadline in one of the most memorable summer blockbusters in recent years. After arriving in Los Angeles, Scherzer started 11 games, going 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA and a 0.820 WHIP with 89 strikeouts over 68-1/3 innings of work.

Considering Scherzer’s age and his bout of dead-arm syndrome during last year’s playoffs, it’s tough to guess the lengths of contracts he’ll be offered. With Scott Boras as his agent, I’m guessing serious minimums could be coming in somewhere around three years and $100 million.

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.

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Dodgers Adjust 40-Man Roster Ahead of 2021 MLB Winter Meetings, Rule 5 Draft

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday afternoon added outfielder James Outman, infielders Jacob Amaya, Eddys Leonard, Jorbit Vivas and pitcher Michael Grove to the organizational 40-Man Roster.

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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.

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Dodgers Reportedly Showing Interest in Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray

While the winter hot stove season typically surrounds action involving free agents, the Los Angeles Dodgers jumped into the rumor mill this weekend with a little trade speculation.

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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.

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Thoughts on Clayton Kershaw Facing Free Agency

At the end of the postseason, players who were eligible became free agents. On Sunday, qualifying offers were extended from teams to their free agents whom they deemed worth extending that offer to, and who were also eligible for one.

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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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