The Dodgers are being linked to free agent infielder Jeimer Candelario this offseason after he put together a career year in 2023. It’s an intriguing option for the team to explore, but one that a previous move could alter.
The Dodgers first move of their offseason was signing infielder Max Muncy to a brand new two-year contract extension, keeping him in Dodger Blue for the next few years. This was important because it now guarantees that they will have him on the roster while they move around different chess pieces in shaping the team.
Muncy leaves much to be desired on defense, but his bat is one of the best in the game. LA has seemed okay with allowing him to play defense, as long as he hits. But the team may also look to upgrade the position at the hot corner this winter.
In the case that they did decide to move Muncy off third, they will need to replace him. This is where Candelario could enter into the picture.
“Candelario had a career year in 2023, hitting 22 home runs with 70 RBIs and an .807 OPS with the Nationals and Cubs. He doesn’t offer the same hot-corner defense as Matt Chapman, but Candelario brings a more consistent bat.”Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com
Getting Candelario in the mix would allow the Dodgers to have more flexibility within their roster, something that they very much enjoy. The issue with him is that he had a career year in a contract season, so was his production real? And what would it take to land his services?
Going after Candelario is a move worth considering, but he likely will get a bigger deal elsewhere from another team.
Muncy has played all over the infield, and could even become the team’s designated hitter if they wanted him to. That would likely mean that they missed out on their big free-agent target, Shohei Ohtani, but LA has to be ready for all scenarios.
The Dodgers probably don’t want to spend heavy money on an infield upgrade, as they have other pressing needs. But Candelario would give them another solid bat in their lineup, keeping it alive as a possibility this offseason.
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Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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