Dodger’s Right Handed FA Options

Andrew Friedman recently reiterated the Dodger’s plans of adding relieving depth and a right handed bat (not necessarily a 3rd baseman). We’ve already mentioned names like Brad Hand and Steve Cishek as far as relievers go. We think a pair of Orioles could be a good combo replacement for Justin Turner. We’ve also mentioned out of the box options like Josh Bell or Paul Goldschmidt to LA.

Now that we know Friedman truly isn’t committed to signing a 3rd baseman for the righty bat, we have 3 more top options that aren’t 3rd baseman by nature the Dodgers should look at. So that leaves the question of who could be the “right hand” man.

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Highlights

  • Marcus Semien
  • Andrelton Simmons
  • Ehire Adrianza

Marcus Semien

Semien has played all over the infield in his career, but has made a living as a shortstop. He debuted with the White Sox as a 22 year old in 2013. After two .673 OPS seasons, the Oakland A’s got him as the last add-on in a 6 player swap they had with the Sox. He’s been the starting shortstop in Oakland ever since.

Now, at the age of 30, Semien is on the market after a forgettable 2020. But it’s 2019 that stands out for the career .254/.322/.425 hitter. A year where he showed off on both sides of the game.

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At 28, Semien broke out over a full 162 games, working his way to a 3rd place finish in MVP voting. He slashed career highs across the board with .285/.369/.522. His OPS+ had him as 39% above average. He compiled an astounding 8.9 WAR in one year. (His career total is 22.3)

He hit a career high 33 homers, 43 doubles, 7 triples, 92 RBI, 123 runs, 10 stolen bases, and a BB to K ratio of 87 to 102. He was just about the perfect top of the lineup batter.

In his 40 postseason at bats, he’s slashing .371/.450/.571 for an OPS of 1.021. He loves October baseball. A great skill for the 2021 World Series favorite Dodgers.

He still ranked in the 80th percentile of speed as a 29 year old. He strikes out and whiffs less than the average guy. Which is probably why he walks at a pretty high clip. It may also help Dodger fans that statcast actually has Nolan Arenado as the second most similar hitter to Semien’s batted ball profile.

We love that the Dodgers can try him at 2nd, SS, 3rd, or at all of them. It’s also possible, that this would be the motivation for Seager to move to 3rd full time, even if Lux actually takes short and Semien at 2nd.

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  • Andrelton Simmons

SIMBA! The addition of Rendon to the Angels most likely meant the end of the underrated tenure of Andrelton Simmons in LA. Unless, he signs with the Dodgers of course.

The 5 time Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, gold, and platinum glove winner is a free agent. The defensive specialist is more than just a generational shortstop glove, he can also handle the bat for a solid line.

In his career, his slash line is .269/.317/.379. He’s by no means a power hitter with only 67 home runs in his also 4000 AB’s, but he’s good for a plus averaging.

He hasn’t hit below .264 on a season since 2014. He doesn’t walk a ton, but he doesn’t strike out either. He’s a pure, ball in play hitter. Statcast ranks him in the 95th percent of K% and 93% of Whiff %. AKA a top 6% contact hitter. And he has been his entire career.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/andrelton-simmons-592743?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb

Great for the 6 through 8 (or 9 if DH in NL) spots in the lineup.

2020 was actually his best career year as far as getting on base. He slashed .297/.346/.356 in 30 games last year. The only extra bases coming from 7 doubles though. Still he stole a couple bags to go with a well rounded .702 OPS.

Still, the traditionally elite fielding SS struggled more than ever in the shortened 2020. A career .981 fielder dropped to .960 in 2020. He ranked in the bottom 20% in OAA last year.

The hopeful assumption is that this was just an outlier with too small of a sample size to cause merit. The alternative hypothesis though is that Simmons finally hit the decline that all major athletes must face at some point.

If the latter is the case, then maybe Simmons is open to moving to either 2nd or 3rd if it means the perks of staying in LA and moving to the winning team.

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  • Ehire Adrianza

Adrianza is the name most Dodger fans probably won’t recognize. He doesn’t make a lot of headlines, but he was a steady producer for the Twins these last few years.

The 31 year old utility player will be appearing in his 9th major league season. He’s not a headline maker and has never played more than 114 games in a season, but he has quietly done well for himself.

He spent his first 4 years with the Giants, but never found a rhythm in his limited opportunities behind Brandon Crawford in the Giant’s World Series days.

In Minnesota, he was given a part time role similar to what Kike did for the Dodgers. There, he slashed .253/.317/.377 as a switch hitter over 4 seasons. He’s literally played every position except catcher over that time for them. Including those weird relief appearances to save real bullpen arms.

But why should the Dodgers be interested in a below average, switch hitting, utility player? Well, he does have a career .974 fielding percentage at 3rd base (including a .978 in 2020). For comparison, Nolan Arenado has a career fielding % of .972.

Adrianza apparently has the chops to be a gold glove 3rd baseman if given the opportunity. Now, we know he’s not technically a RHB, but that is his strong side of the plate.

Against lefties, his career line is .255/.320/.372. His power is about the same from both sides, little to none, but he hits about 20 points better against lefties. 40 points by OPS. Enough to make him an above average hitter by OPS+.

At his age he’s probably looking for one of two contracts. A 1 year with a higher salary, or something along the lines of 3-4 years with a lower annual salary, but more money guaranteed.

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The Dodgers could happily settle in the middle for a very reasonable 2 year contract and help fill the Kike and Turner void. Or perhaps use this cheap signee as a package with Turner for next year.

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