Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Insider Labels Chris Taylor LA’s ‘Most Important’ Free Agent

It’s been quite a run with the core group of players Los Angeles has held for numerous seasons. It’ll be tough to see stars like Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, and Corey Seager all depart the franchise if that’s how the dominoes fall.

Despite the role they have played in the organization’s run of success over the years, not one of those names may be the most important free agent they have. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register spoke on High Heat this week about how Chris Taylor will be the hardest player to replace if he leaves. 

“I think Chris Taylor is the hardest to replace. They already have Trea Turner to move to shortstop if Corey leaves, they have a bunch of young arms that could conceivably fill in for Jansen at closer … but Chris Taylor, what he does is just so unique that I think he’s probably of that group the most important and difficult to replace.”

Plunkett is speaking a lot of truth in that interview. The Dodgers have Trea Turner, who is a star in his own right despite being non-existent in the postseason, to replace Corey Seager. The team also has plenty of arms on the roster and within the minor leagues who can help fill the hole, Jansen will leave behind. Graterol has close stuff, Blake Treinen has the experience, and maybe (just hear me out) Tony Gonsolin could transition into that type of role eventually since he’s had an up and down experience starting.

However, if Chris Taylor leaves, who will take on that super-utility role? The Dodgers already let go of Kiké Hernandez last offseason and doing so again with Taylor will leave a huge hole. Plenty of players on the roster can play multiple positions, yet no one can do it as well as CT3. The Dodgers can’t afford to lose another postseason legend.

NEXT: MLB Insider Predicts a Huge Contract for Corey Seager With AL East Team


  1. Plunky, duh! At least this is better than your criticism about the 2020 WS title as being tainted. Tremendous grasp of the obvious.

  2. We saw this year that you can “replace”:folks like Hernandez and Pederson and not end up “replacing” them. We need to NOT take that chance with CT3. The internal options are not panning out and we don’t have Zaidi around any more to recognize the untapped castoffs.

    1. And Zaidi might very well be the one to sway Taylor away from the Blue. All along, I have believed the Giants are the biggest threat to sign Taylor. They have a lot of money to spend.

      And doing so would serve a dual purpose for them….adding a fine player like Taylor AND harming their biggest rival by ensuring they don’t retain him. Taylor absolutely is a priority for the Blue. Same goes for Scherzer…..they could convince him to go north (although I believe he loves it here). I will be very nervous this offseason.

      1. As will I. I too fear the Giants in their attempt to lure CT3 away. Everyone knows the Dodger link to the Giants FO and manager. Well most do anyway.

        1. Ok folks, I’ve listened to some Giants Podcasts and make no mistake about it they will make a very hard run at CT3! It could very well be that Zahidi was responsible for bringing him to LA and he might feel some allegiance to him, who knows. The thing that bothered me so much was his post game following the NLCS just made it sound like he was already gone.

          Giants need to address their starters just like Dodgers do as well. Gausman, Wood, and Desclafani are all FA’s. I was kind of hoping Wood could be lured back to the Dodgers for a 3rd stint but I’m thinking that is not likely as I bet he probably feels snubbed by not being given a chance to be a starter during his 2nd stint.

          Not exactly sure what other pitching FA’s are out there. Hopefully Kersh and Max remain and that would make the Dodgers set for 2022 at least. Buehler, Scherzer, Urias, and Kersh with White and Gonsolin or Jackson as a 5th. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Max ends up elsewhere because of Boras. Also it sounds as if 2022 payroll might be brought in some but that remains to be seen.

          1. Why in God’s name would you want Wood back. He’s as unpredictable as you can get. I rather promote youth from within.

      1. Me too. CT3 certainly made it sound as if he was already gone and I find that simply unfathomable!

  3. I am not so sure he is that important.

    He struck out more than anyone on the team.

    His s super utilty-ness was only needed because the dodgers did not have enough adequate outfielders or infielders who could hit and field. Especially when you have a manager who was bound and determined to rest one or more starters every game.

    Though, I will agree it is very nice to have a player like taylor or kiki on your bench for such things.

    The dodgers missed more than anything a good infielder and outfielder on the bench.

    Why Atlanta could rebuild their enter outfield midseason, and the dodgers could not find a single decent infielder or outfielder all season who could hit and field is a mystery.

    1. That’s because dum-dum thought the Raley, Reks, McKinstry, McKinney, Souza group was sufficient lol

      Let alone DFAing Peters who ended up doing quite nicely for the Rangers.

      Bench is a real sore subject with me.

      1. Your displeasure with the bench is well chronicled and there’s no question it was problematic this year.

        I’m a big fan of CT3 (JT lite in my opinion) and expect the team will resign him. But before you summarily dismiss McKinstry, you should evaluate his year (1st in the majors) against both CT3 and Kike’s early years. Similar struggles. Zach is an outstanding defender that needs to see more major league pitching and has to demonstrate performance first but I predict you will become a big fan in the next few years. He’s a keeper.

        And DJ did exactly in Texas what he did for the Dodgers; hit .198, struck out over 33% of time, and belted a few homers. The Dodgers appropriately moved on.

        1. Fair enough. Yes Zach McK gets a pass. He started off the year on fire then got banged up and was never the same. Hopefully he rebounds and continues to show form similar to his 2021 start.

          As for DJ, he made the highlight reels more than any of the other LA “bench core” just sayin. His numbers may not have looked so hot but I sure saw enough on the MLB network. More than could say for the others.

          1. He had a game where he hit 3 HRs in a game if I remember correctly but if I were to send a RHer to pinch hit in a tight game, Albert gets my call over DJ every time. In fact hard as this is to believe Sousa had better seasons than Peters a few years back early in his career. he hit 30 HRs in ’17; of course he only hit .239 (BA still counts for me) and struck out 33% of time.

          2. DJ Peters makes Billy Ashley look like Rod Carew. Talk about a strikeout waiting to happen. You’re entitled to your opinion but guys like Peters are the blind squirrels of hitters. Yeah they find a nut every now and again and hit it into the stratosphere but hovering below Mario Mendoza doesn’t do it for me. And yes I know he’s a plus outfielder just like Juan Castro was a plus SS.

          3. Curtis, I was never making the assertion that DJ Peters was Rod Carew, that’s just nonsensical. What I was trying to demonstrate was in comparison to the other “stiffs” on the bench, he was a better alternative and should not have been DFA’d. Raley, Reks, McKinney had nothing on Peters! Nor Souza with that pitiful throw from RF that couldn’t throw out my 3 year old grand daughter at the PLATE. Peters would have throw out either Albies or Rosario by 30 feet!

  4. I say this respectfully as a born and raised Los Angeles native and fan for life. It seems like this team was constantly playing sloppy defense towards the end of the season and always swinging for the fences. They couldn’t play small ball, with runners on instead on moving runners over with bunts, hits or simply beating the shift-by simply laying the bat out and hitting a roller the other way. Our pitching was outstanding, above average compared to any playoff team. Harold Reynolds, of MLB tonight indicated, Dodgers have possibly the best bullpen in the history of baseball. Our exit from the play-offs was a domino affect. Yes, we had 106 wins but we should have had 107 or more, beating the over achieving Giants for the NL-West. I recall being in Miami for three out of four games with the last place Marlins and we lost all three games. We lost or split series to fourth and last place teams that we should have won. That’s how we lost the NL-West and not in the month of September. Then costly poor decisions with pitching ensued in the play offs. The wild card play off and the play offs with the Giants took a lot from the team. However, in the NL Division Championship, sloppy defense and running errors and poor at bats did us in. CT3 said it best after losing the series to the Braves, “it hurts after losing knowing we are the better team. I must say, it was an under achieving season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    1. I feel the same way. I think it was a confluence of factors that had the Dodgers come up just short. Losing the division was costly as I sincerely believe there would have been no way the Dodgers lose the NLCS with Home field advantage! I think the play-off structure will change with the passage of a new CBA. Oh well. Bring on the hot stove season.

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