I want to preface this article by saying this is an opinion piece. You may not agree with my opinion, and that’s okay — that’s what a comment section is for. Please feel free to join the dialogue on this topic, as I know it has a lot of Dodger fans worked up right now.
The Dodgers are making a huge mistake by not going after Carlos Correa.
Okay, let me take a step back for a second.
If you read Ken Rosenthal’s latest piece for The Athletic, or, quite frankly, if you’ve been on Twitter at all, you’ve seen the report that the Dodgers are not pursuing the superstar shortstop in free agency. Rosenthal gave two potential reasons for this:
- Correa was a member of the 2017 Houston Astros team that cheated the Dodgers out of a World Series. Rosenthal says the Dodgers aren’t pursuing him “out of concern that a sizable portion of their fan base would not welcome the move.”
- The Dodgers are holding off on Correa — and the other top free agents — as they don’t know if Trevor Bauer’s suspension will be upheld, and could be on the hook to pay him over $100 million.
If the latter of the two reasons is the true obstacle holding this team back, then I completely understand.
However, if it is in fact the first reason, and the Dodgers are steering clear of Correa because they don’t know how their fan base will react, well that would just be a huge mistake.
Yes, I understand what happened in 2017 hurts. I’m a Dodger fan, too. It hurt me, too. And I also understand the long-term impact that series has had, most notably on the postseason legacy of Clayton Kershaw. But I also understand this team has dominated the regular season over the last decade, and has one (1) World Series victory to show for it. Yes, they may have two if it weren’t for the Astros. But unfortunately, that happened, Rob Manfred allowed them to keep the title and the Dodgers are still stuck on one.
The Dodgers have had their chances. They’ve been the best team in baseball over the last decade. But this team has consistently underperformed when it has mattered most, and, coming off arguably the most disappointing exit in MLB history, this team needed to address those issues in the offseason.
“Q. You mentioned the players still out there, a guy named Carlos Correa, and we know there’s a lot of scars from the fan base from 2017. How do you think he — how would he affect the clubhouse? Do you think that’s something you would have to address?
DAVE ROBERTS: Carlos is a heck of a ball player. I don’t know that answer. What I do know is that we’re about winning baseball games. Our fan base is about winning baseball games. But I don’t know how this season — but he’s a heck of a ball player.”
Entering free agency, there were high hopes this team would make a splash. They were linked to the likes of Aaron Judge, Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom and all four of the top shortstops. It seemed as if this team was ready to reload, get some fresh blood in the clubhouse and, yet again, enter next season as one of the favorites to win it all.
But now, Judge is off the board, Verlander is off the board, deGrom is off the board, Trea Turner is off the board and the top player left is none other than Mr. Correa.
Correa fits everything the Dodgers need. He’s an above-average hitter. He’s a solid defender. He plays shortstop, the position that, as of right now, is the biggest hole in the lineup. And finally — the thing that has drawn a lot of Dodger fans to him this offseason — he cares. He wants to win. He plays with passion. And it feels like he wouldn’t have let this team disappear in the final three games of a series against their “little brother” San Diego Padres, who might I add, have offered a combined $1.022 billion to Judge, Turner and Xander Bogaerts, finally getting Bogaerts to bite as they go even further all-in next season.
“I will say that you look at that dugout versus our dugout, there was more intensity there,” Dave Roberts said about the Padres’ dugout in the 2022 NLDS.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Dodgers aren’t going to make a splash this offseason. They’re going to let the young guys get a shot, and compete in a tough division, that’ll only get tougher when the Giants finally land one of the top players on the market (it has to be coming at some point, right?)
If the Dodgers were serious about being all-in on a championship this season, they wouldn’t let Correa’s ties to the Astros prevent him from coming to LA. He’s the best player left on the market, and a perfect fit on this team alongside Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman for the next however many years his contract would be.
Scott Boras on Dodgers fans that are against signing Carlos Correa because of what happened in 2017:
"Fans care about winning. They care about winning the right way, & I think anyone who knows Carlos Correa understands his leadership & his commitment and skill level he brings." pic.twitter.com/ropd8g7kqY
— Doug McKain (@DMAC_LA) December 6, 2022
If Rosenthal’s reports are in fact true, and the Dodgers are staying away from Correa because of his past, they’re proving that it’s not actually winning over everything.
The Dodgers have to prove that they prioritize winning over feelings. You don’t become a good baseball team by worrying about what your fans might think. You become a good baseball team by signing the players that give you the best chance to win. And if the Dodgers were serious about winning, they would have an offer on the table for Correa.
And besides, all the Dodger fans who hate Correa will very quickly change their minds when he’s holding up a World Series trophy as a member of the Dodgers. Talk about a Hollywood ending.
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