MLB free agency is in a holding pattern until the league and the MLBPA certify a new CBA. Which, could be a while. Several notable Dodgers from the 2021 roster are members of free agency purgatory. In his latest free agent rankings, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden believes all five of the MLB veterans belong in the top 70 of the remaining player pool.
7. Kenley Jansen, RP
Jansen has played his entire professional baseball career for the Dodgers organization. After two down years, Jansen adjusted his pitch sequencing and repertoire. The retooled Dodgers closer produced a 2.22 ERA and logged 38 saves in 2021. If he doesn’t resign with LA, Bowden provided the three other clubs that could be interested in Jansen.
“He might return to LA, where he’s played for all 12 of his major-league seasons; if not, the Blue Jays, Marlins or Phillies could make sense.”
9. Clayton Kershaw, SP
The future of the most important Dodgers pitcher of the last 20 years, or maybe ever depending on who you ask, is a big unknown. Kershaw missed the second half of the season and the playoffs in 2021 due to an elbow injury. As Bowden notes, starting and finishing his career with the Dodgers would be pretty special.
“The medicals on Kershaw’s left elbow and forearm will determine his value. Please finish your career as a Dodger, Clayton.”
15. Joe Kelly, RP
In 2021, Kelly missed all of April and most of August due to injuries. He finished the season strong for the Dodgers. For that reason, Bowden ranked Kelly as the second-best free agent reliever.
“In September/October, he posted a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings and held hitters to a .100 batting average.”
39. Danny Duffy, SP/RP
Okay, this is a bit of a stretch since Duffy never threw a pitch for the Dodgers this past season. The Goleta, CA native was acquired at the trade deadline, but a flexor tendon injury prevented him from playing for his childhood team.
“The biggest question is whether he can pass the medicals. “I’ve got more in the tank, for sure,” he told The Athletic’s Andy McCullough in December.”
46. Albert Pujols, 1B/DH
If Tío Albert does play in 2022, it won’t be to chase 700 career home runs. According to Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel, the future Hall-of-Famer wants to help a team win a championship. The 42-year-old owned a .939 OPS against lefties in 2021.
“Pujols needs the universal DH to be implemented for 2022.”
Once the MLB lockout freeze is over, which current Dodgers free agents should LA re-sign? Besides Kershaw…
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