It is officially the off-season. This means, as every year, the Dodgers will be forced to say goodbye to numerous players and coaches with the 2020 season looming. This time around, the free agents are Rich Hill, Russell Martin, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and David Freese. Jedd Gyorko will also become a free agent once the Dodgers decline his team option.
Most of the players on that list hold a lot of sentimental value to us as Dodger fans and it will be sad to watch any of them walk.
Four #Dodgers are now officially free agents — Rich Hill, Russell Martin, Hyun-Jin Ryu and David Freese (who has said he plans to retire). A fifth (Jedd Gyorko) will join them when LAD declines his option
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 31, 2019
The Dodgers took a chance on Hill at the 2016 trade deadline, trading three top pitching prospects for him. He thrived. The Dodgers then took another chance on him by signing him to a three-year, $48 million deal. When he was healthy, he thrived. At the age of 39, Hill is defying the odds.
His fire and desire are what made him so endearing to fans. The true underdog story. Hill has already said that he is interested in returning to the Dodgers, but they might not pay him much. With the starting pitching market being a favorable one for the pitchers, Hill could have a nice payday for his age,
Martin came through in the playoffs and was an excellent veteran mentor for Will Smith all season long. This is probably the end of the line for him in Los Angeles and it is very possible he opts to retire.
Martin was once the Dodgers’ top prospect and it would be poetic to see him start and end his career as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ryu has always been a Dodger. Since his rookie year in 2013, he has always thrived when healthy. Now in 2019, he is a Cy Young candidate.
Because Ryu’s agent is the infamous Scott Boras, do not expect Ryu to return to Los Angeles. Boras will be seeking top dollar for his client and the Dodgers may opt to look elsewhere to replace him.
Freese was excellent in 2019 after signing a one-year, $4.5 million in the off-season. He led the league in wRC+ against right-handed pitching and provided a steady bench presence against southpaws.
However, all good things must come to an end as Freese has opted for retirement. Arguably the best postseason performer of all-time, Freese will always have his name tossed around for years to come.