One of the main objectives of this offseason for the Dodgers is to figure out who will play shortstop for them in 2023. They could stay internal with Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor, or even Jacob Amaya. They could trade for someone like Willy Adames. Or they could go after one of the big four free agents: Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, and Carlos Correa.
Over on the Flippin’ Bats podcast, Ben Verlander and Alex Curry talked about Correa, and both think he’s the right fit for Los Angeles.
Verlander: “Your prediction was that Carlos Correa goes to the Dodgers. And I agree with you. I think Carlos goes to the Dodgers. Why not? Ya know? He’s great. I think he’d be a great fit there.”
Curry: “He’s a star.”
Verlander: “He’s a star.”
Curry: “You need to be a star in L.A.”
Verlander: “And you mentioned it, there’s so much money available, with all the money coming off the books for the Dodgers. Kimbrel. Bellinger’s contract … that’s off the books. Trea Turner. There’s big-money guys that have gone off the books, and they’re able to spend now. I think they do it at shortstop, and I think they do it at pitcher.”
Verlander, of course, has some not-so-secret biases when it comes to hoping the Dodgers spend a lot of money on pitching, since his brother is a free agent in conversations with L.A. But he’s not wrong about the financial outlook for Los Angeles — they do have a ton of money coming off the books, and if they wanted to, they could go big in free agency.
There have been rumblings that L.A. might try to stay below the luxury tax in 2023 to reset the escalating penalties, but they could sign Correa and still stay below that mark. They probably couldn’t get Correa and Justin Verlander, but they could spend big at one of the positions and stay under.
With Correa, as always, the question is about baggage. When the Astros players escaped their cheating scandal with zero punishment, the common refrain was that their punishment would be the shame they live with the rest of their careers. Well, maybe it’s a little more than shame. It’s hard to argue that Correa’s cheating history didn’t affect his market last offseason, and it could affect it again this year if the Dodgers shy away from him because of it.
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