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Dodgers Rumors: MLB Pundit Suggests LA May Be ‘Extra Selective’ on Longer Contracts

The Dodgers’ offseason has been fascinating so far, if only for the fact that they haven’t really done anything — and we have no idea what they will do. We know they either need to re-sign Trea Turner or figure out who’s taking his spot next year, but right now it could be Turner, one of the other big-name shortstops on the free-agent market, someone they acquire in a trade, or one of three internal options (Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor, or Jacob Amaya).

Over at The Athletic, Dodgers beat writer Fabian Ardaya did a mailbag column and answered a question that asked why a team like Los Angeles that values elite talent hasn’t seemed to be in on elite shortstop Turner.



“The Dodgers will remain in the mix with Turner as well as the other big shortstops, but as I hit upon earlier in the week, Los Angeles prioritizes not having too many things tied down, and the presence of Mookie and Freddie Freeman on the books for the next five years means the Dodgers will likely be extra-selective on deals longer than that. If the right option pops open, like Freeman last spring, they’ll jump on it. Otherwise, they might try finding a creative solution. …

“But as I wrote this week, the Dodgers haven’t indicated they’ll spend all of the money they freed up on their books so far this winter. They have young guys they want to see get playing time. They could be active in trades, too.”

For the Dodgers, it is almost always about the roster, not the money. When they didn’t sign Bryce Harper, it was because the Phillies offered him about eight more years than L.A. was comfortable with. When Zack Greinke walked to Arizona, it was the years, not the dollars. Corey Seager, same story. This offseason, we’re likely to see the same thing repeated with Aaron Judge, among others.

Mookie Betts was a very rare exception, the kind you make when you have one of the best players in the game in his 20s and don’t want him to get to free agency. Freddie Freeman’s deal isn’t quite the same, but it’s probably a year or two longer than they ideally would have wanted. In Freeman’s case, the decided the extra year was worth it to snatch him from Atlanta for a very reasonable price.

If Trea gets nine years, it won’t be from the Dodgers. If his market stalls and he become option to a six-year deal, Los Angeles will be right back in the running. In between those numbers, the odds tilt further and further away from L.A.

It’s a bummer sometimes, but it’s also one of the key elements of building a team that remains competitive, year after year after year.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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6 Comments

  1. Baseball is a business and the Dodgers must show a profit. Paying a 50% penalty on contracts over the baseball budget is not good business or sustainable long term.
    The Dodgers have built one of the best Minor League Organizations in baseball. Money and time have been spent to build possibly the best group in baseball.
    It would be idiotic not to use the talent. Players like Smith, Lux, Urias, Buehler & others all came up though the system. Those home grown players allow teams to sign big contracts like Betts and Freeman and still keep their budget under control. Long contracts where the player is not earning his salary for several years at the end of their term is a handicap to a team attempting to stay in competition year in and year out.
    i want to see Vargas, Outman, Stone, all get a shot. Maybe Amaya this year and Miller sometime in 23?

    1. No to either of them. Remember, only need to win 85-90 games to make the playoffs. Regular season has been diluted by the ever-expanding post season. 25-30 yr olds > than 30-38 yr olds.

  2. T-Max said it well up above. The goal is going to be out compete the Padres and Giants as they get better. Andrew will do that by fielding the best team he can come up with while staying near the CBT. He will avoid long term mega deal contracts regardless. I think we all realize the trick to being better than the many well stocked teams outside of our division and league is picking quality players to invest in, rather than the most expensive ones. It’s a difficult needle to thread with one eye on payroll.
    This can be a speculative, annoying, time of year re many of the articles written. Nothings news till it actually happens.

  3. Yes, I would agree with everyone here except D.P. The Dodgers to remain sustainable, they must stay on course. However, Trea, a proven SS, is another money player like Mookie and Freddie that would reap mega benefits for the organization for next 6 years if he would take it, but if not I can understand it. The main goals are win the division, win the pennant, and win the World Series.

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