Dodger’s Biggest Offseason Questions (Part 4 of 5)

Highlights

  • Do The Dodgers Start Extending Their Young Stars?
  • Who’s The Next Prospect(s) Up?
  • Who’s The Closer?
  • Who Do We Resign?
  • Who Do We Buy/Trade For?
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Dodger’s 2020/21 Free Agents

The Dodgers have 7 contributors to the 2020 Championship that are leaving for the market this year. Veteran pieces, Terrance Gore and Jimmy Nelson, will also be leaving after not really appearing this last season.

But Dodger team captain Justin Turner leads a group of serious talent possibly leaving the organization. Let’s see who the Dodgers should resign.

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  • Justin Turner
    • 2020 Stats: .307/.400/.460
    • ’20 Postseason: .250/.333/.471
    • Career: .295/.392/.507

This one is so difficult. And first off, ignore the controversy of the World Series. That should barely be a speck on the legacy Turner has (and maybe continues) as a Dodger. It doesn’t change the person or player Turner is. And it definitely won’t change how he’s viewed in the market.

So how is he viewed? Well pretty much as a top 10 free agent anywhere you look. He’d be higher if he wasn’t 36 and injury prone at 3rd base. His defensive WAR has officially turned negative for the past 2 seasons. If the DH was staying in both leagues he’d probably be a top 5.

His career as a Dodger for 7 years saw a slash line of .302/.382/.503. He compiled 28.7 WAR. His worst line was .275/.339/.493 in 2016. It was just a modest OPS+ of 121. (or 21% better than average). He has a career postseason OPS of at least .810 in every round of the playoffs.

According to statcast, Turner is great to elite in just about every aspect of his offense except speed. Again his defense has suffered to the point of moving him to 1st or as a DH.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/justin-turner-457759?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb

Anyway you look at it, Turner can still hit with the best of them. Everyone is aware that he’s willing to move across the diamond if it means starting. (He said so when the Dodgers were making a play for Rendon). Interest will most likely be very high for Turner.

Every team that can afford a spot for him in their lineup will probably make a play for the last 4ish years of Turner’s career. AL teams will obviously have an advantage, and plenty of them could use an impact bat like Turner.

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The White Sox could make room for Turner while taking advantage of his versatility. The Freeway Rival Angels could find a way to work him in consistently as well. Or maybe the Rays look to add a veteran with postseason success after coming so close this last year.

As for the NL, the Rockies would love to see what he could do with 80 games in Coors (Especially if Arenado is leaving). The Mets could want a reunion with all their money to blow on Stars. Turner is great clubhouse leader, and the new leadership will need a player like that. And it’s possible a team like the Nationals may want to add an impact bat to make another run before they lose Scherzer.

Overall, Turner is going to have suiters beyond the Dodgers. They do have the loyalty factor. Turner even convinced Jansen to stay for less money for the sake of a championship. Granted, now they got it. He has made a solid $70+ million over his career in pure salary, but that’s not necessarily enough to make money not an issue.

Still, the Dodgers should make a play for Turner with a limit set in mind beforehand. We think it should be somewhere around 4 years, $50 million.

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He’s worth 2-3 WAR a year still, and at $8 million per WAR that could fetch $16-$24 million per year on the market. Especially for someone that is truly the full package with Turner.

We hope Turner stays a Dodger, but if he does, he probably turned down a better offer to do it. If so, thank you Turner. LA loves you no matter what.

Verdict: Give Turner The Best Offer You Can

  • Blake Treinen
    • 2020 Stats: 3.86 ERA, 25.2 IP
    • ’20 Postseason: 4.76 ERA, 11.1 IP
    • Career: 3.02 ERA, 1.28 WHIP

The Dodgers took a shot on Treinen on a 1 year, $10 million contract after the closer regressed dramatically to a 4.91 ERA. But he bounced back for the most part, and showed he still has his electric stuff. He just doesn’t have it every night like he did in his Cy Young worthy 2018.

Unfortunately for him, he’s barely a top 10 reliever in this market. There is also Hendricks, Yates, Hand, Osuna, Giles, Workman, Melancon, Greene, Kennedy, Kintzler, Doolittle, Rosenthal, Kela, and even fellow Dodger McGeee. Advantage MLB teams over Relievers.

And while yes there are a lot of relievers, teams can never have too many guys of Treinen’s caliber. There should still be a minor bidding war for his services. The question is more, what does he want? That will change who is after him.

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So that being said, it will be interesting to see if Treinen is looking for another 1 to 2 year deal to see where he and the market are at in the future. If so, the Dodgers may be very interested. But so will the other half of teams that want to contend next year.

But Treinen is 33 now. He may be looking for a final contract with more years and maybe opt-outs. If that’s the case, he’ll have less to pick and choose from. A team like the Blue Jays who have plenty of young cheap talent for the foreseeable future seem like an obvious match.

If it’s 1 to 2 years, we think Treinen will sign for anywhere from $16-$30 million depending on how cheap the reliever market gets.

If it’s 3-5 years, we see him signing for somewhere between $35-$50 million. Teams won’t want to be paying a player of his age and history as much money if they’re guaranteeing him more years.

Verdict: Resign With a Cap In Mind

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  • Kiké Hernandez
    • 2020 Stats: .230/.270/.410
    • ’20 Postseason: .214/.290/.464
    • Career: .213/.324/.434

As the stats show, what Kiké brings to the table isn’t his bat per say. He’s the team spirit and backup everything. He is the jack-of-all-trades you can rely on for whatever you need.

Kike played 2B in 30 of his 48 games at some point. But he also played every other position several times and racked up 0.9 defensive WAR making him the 9th most valuable defender in baseball last year. He was THE MOST valuable utility player defensively.

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So even though he’s only an average bat, his defensive ability still makes him valuable to just about any team. And ask any Dodger fan, and they can tell you about a game that Kike won offensively.

But Kike also brings intangibles with his baseball prowess. He’s a battery of a clubhouse. He raises moral. He is a fan favorite. His good spirit is contagious. He’s the type of player that leads a team emotionally.

And unfortunately for the Dodgers, Kiké is likely to go wherever offers him the most money. And the Dodgers have an equivalent player in Chris Taylor, and they already extended him. Chances are we have seen the last of Like in Dodger blue, but his ring with us will last a lifetime.

We see Kiké moving out easy to Miami. They have an opening at 2B with Villar also hitting the market, and could use a veteran leader on a surprisingly rebuilt Marlins squad.

We see Hernandez signing for around 4 years and $25 million.

Verdict: Let Go

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  • Joc Pederson
    • 2020 Stats: .190/.285/.397
    • ’20 Postseason: .382/.432/.559
    • Career: .230/.336/.470

Dodger fans have probably seen the last of Joc in Dodger blue. He’s a top 5 outfielder this offseason, and the Dodgers have two outfield spots locked up by MVPs and a third outfielder in Pollock getting paid $15 million next year.

And with Joc disappointing in the regular season, being useless against lefties, and the plethora of outfielders in the Dodger’s system, he’s likely on his way out. Probably for the best for both sides.

Joc is likely to sign for anywhere from 3-8 years really. We assume he’ll get north of $10 million a year from whoever signs him. It’s up to him. He has plenty of teams interested in him.

But the question for Pederson is what can they offer him now after a season marred by debt, or in a few years while Joc is still in his early 30s and teams have recovered.

Verdict: Let Go

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  • Alex Wood
    • 2020 Stats: 6.39 ERA, 12.2 IP
    • ’20 Postseason: 1.35 ERA, 6.2 IP
    • Career: 3.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

Alex Wood accepted a one year offer from the Dodgers in hopes of rebuilding his value as a starter. But unfortunately, he got injured in his first start of the year and missed most of the shortened year. He did pitch well in the postseason to win his first ring at least.

But he’s now two years removed from his last successful season. He’s likely to take a flyer contract from whoever will offer him the most money for a year to start.

If he wants to stay in LA, the Angels always need pitching, the Braves need more depth, the Mets may have extra money to spend, or possibly the Nats want to add a high upside pitcher to the end of their rotation.

But overall we see Wood looking for a 1 year deal worth up to $5 million.

Verdict: Let Go

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  • Pedro Baez
    • 2020 Stats: 3.18 ERA, 17 IP
    • ’20 Postseason: 3.52 ERA, 7.2 IP
    • Career: 3.03 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

Dodger fans will never understand the enigma that is Baez. His stats say he’s good. Our eyes have said otherwise in just about every time it has mattered most. His career in the postseason is a 18.316 ERA and a WHIP of 3.937.

With the amount of pitchers in the Dodger’s system, we highly doubt Baez gets resigned. But other teams will look at him as a veteran arm who can help a team make the jump to playoffs.

We expect him to sign for 2 to 3 years for around $3-$5 million a year. But definitely not with the Dodgers.

Verdict: Let Go

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  • Jake McGee
    • 2020 Stats: 2.66 ERA, 20.1 IP
    • ’20 Postseason: 3.38 ERA, 2.2 IP
    • Career: 3.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

McGee should be an easy resign for the Dodgers in what is a loaded reliever class. They technically have the option to sign him for another season at $9 million, but he’s unlikely to get that kind of money this poor offseason.

He’ll most likely be overlooked and at 34 he’ll be looking to sign most likely his last deal. Probably for 3 to 4 years and enough money to make sure he and his family can retire comfortably.

If you ignore his 4 seasons in Colorado he’s 24-12. He had an ERA of 2.77 and a WHIP of 1.02 in 6 years with the Rays. He was even better for the Dodgers last year (granted it was a shortened season) with a 2.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.

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And even though he throws his 4 seamer over 96% of the time, statcast still said his expected ERA was in the 97th percentile. Probably because it has a horizontal break almost 50% better than average. He was in the 87th percentile in Whiff % which is why he had 33 K’s in his 20.1 IP. Good for a K% in the 99th percentile.

As for aging, his fastball actually ticked up 1.5 MPH from 2019 to 2020. Every sign points to a discount elite reliever. That is, unless other teams realize the bargain he is outside of Colorado.

We say the Dodgers should resign him for something around a front-loaded 4 year, $18 Million deal. Watch what Sean Doolittle signs for, because he’s arguably the leftie reliever closest to McGee in this market.

Verdict: Resign

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2 thoughts on “Dodger’s Biggest Offseason Questions (Part 4 of 5)

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