What’s next for Dodgers? Daunting offseason decision list includes free agents Seager, Kershaw, Scherzer

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The Dodgers’ season is over, in need of the objective of repeating as World Series champions. They walked the playoff tightrope in addition to any workforce might have, claiming a winner-take-all wild-card recreation in opposition to the Cardinals on a ninth-inning walk-off homer, then successful the final two video games of a best-of-five NLDS in opposition to the rival Giants. 

And they even gained a possible elimination recreation within the NLCS, Game 5, to increase their sequence with the Braves to a sixth recreation, however they fell quick in that one, unable to unravel Atlanta postseason heroes Eddie Rosario and Tyler Matzek

Anything in need of a title, even with the accidents they needed to take care of in October, was a disappointment. Those are the expectations with the franchise now. 

MORE: How Dodgers’ circle of pitching trust got too small

So, what’s next? The Dodgers have constructed a company that has no actual “window” of rivalry. It’s a large door that feels completely wedged open, with the expertise within the minors and the win-now, win-tomorrow-too mindset of the entrance workplace. 

But that doesn’t imply this might be a peaceful offseason. Quite the opposite. The Dodgers’ to-do list is lengthy and stuffed with notable names. 

Let’s have a look. 

Corey Seager, SS

The problem: Free agent

Yep, a biggie proper off the bat. It’s laborious to think about Seager, who was drafted by the Dodgers No. 18 general within the 2012 draft out of a North Carolina highschool, enjoying for anybody apart from the one membership he’s ever identified. But the truth that he and the Dodgers by no means found out an extension casts plenty of doubts on their future collectively. The class of free-agent shortstops is deep and stuffed with high quality gamers, and Seager — who turns 28 next April — might be at or close to the highest of lists for many groups. 

Clayton Kershaw, SP 

The problem: Free agent

Speaking of “can’t imagine this guy playing for anyone else” … Kershaw simply would possibly lead that list, for all of baseball (possibly with the Molina/Wainwright tandem in St. Louis). Kershaw, who turns 34 next spring, confirmed in 2021 that regardless that he won’t be a real workers ace anymore, he’s nonetheless an efficient starter who misses bats — his 10.7 Ok/9 fee was the third-best of his profession, and his 3.00 FIP was his lowest since 2016 (and he completed second within the Cy Young vote in 2017). But discovering a yr/value level may very well be a problem. His days of 200-inning seasons appear lengthy gone. Will the Dodgers nonetheless pay a premium due to his Dodgers legacy? 

Trea Turner, 2B/SS

The problem: Free agent after 2022

He’s beneath membership management for yet another yr, then is eligible to hit the free-agent market after the 2022 season. If the Dodgers fail to carry Seager again, Turner slides over to his most well-liked place, and L.A. is about at shortstop for one yr. But what then? Could they actually let Seager stroll after 2021 after which let Turner do the identical factor after 2022? If they determine that Turner is their man — he’s truly about 10 months older than Seager — then it could be clever to signal him to some kind of extension this offseason. 

Max Scherzer, SP

The problem: Free agent

Yep, one other huge title. Do the Dodgers carry again this future Hall of Famer on a shorter-term, high-AAV deal? They gained’t be the one franchise that makes a suggestion to Scherzer, who’s 37 however turned in one other excellent season that can virtually definitely produce the eighth top-five Cy Young end when the outcomes are introduced in November. 

Trevor Bauer, SP

The problem: Legal troubles

Here’s betting he by no means fits up for the Dodgers once more. 

The rotation

The problem: Who might be there?

Walker Buehler and Julio Urias might be there, for 2022 and past. But Kershaw and Scherzer are each free agents, and Bauer’s time in L.A. appears carried out. Tony Gonsolin will possible have a spot. Dustin May nonetheless has a vibrant future, however he had Tommy John surgical procedure in May, and getting something from him earlier than the second half of the 2022 season is optimistic (and doubtless reckless). There’s virtually zero probability the Dodgers sit nonetheless with the rotation this offseason, particularly seeing how rapidly a number of accidents/points to beginning pitchers can flip an anticipated energy right into a weak point in October. 

Kenley Jansen, RP

The problem: Free agent

And one more star who began with the Dodgers’ group — Jansen signed as an beginner free agent in 2004 — who’s about to hit the market. For actual, if home-grown guys Jansen, Kershaw and Seager all depart, that might be a seismic shift. The Dodgers already introduced him again one time, on a five-year, $80 million deal in January 2017. He had his struggles in 2018-20 — that means he was solely good, not nice — however he was excellent in 2021, going 38-for-43 in save alternatives, with a 2.22 ERA and 11.2 Ok/9. In seven postseason innings this month, he allowed zero runs and solely three hits whereas hanging out 14. He turned 34 on the finish of September and gained’t get any affords matching his earlier contract phrases, however a number of groups might be concerned about bringing on a late-inning bullpen man with Jansen’s kind of postseason expertise and success. 

MORE: MLB postseason bracket, schedule, TV channels

Chris Taylor, UTIL

The problem: Free agent

Dodgers followers — and the entrance workplace, clearly — know what Taylor has meant to the workforce since he came to visit in an almost-unnoticed-at-the-time commerce with the Mariners in 2016. He’s began not less than 10 video games for Los Angeles at shortstop, second base, third base, left area, proper area and middle area. He’s received energy and pace as an offensive drive — he had three homers and three stolen bases within the NLCS alone. And, yeah, he has a aptitude for the dramatic, for stepping up and delivering within the greatest moments (just like the wild-card walk-off dwelling run). 

Corey Knebel, RP

The problem: Free agent

After accidents wrecked the tip of his time with the Brewers, Knebel revived his profession with the Dodgers, who confirmed what they considered him by giving him the primary inning of Game 5 of the NLDS and Game 1 of the NLCS. Can he be an All-Star nearer once more, like he was in 2017 when he saved 39 video games for the Brewers, with a 1.78 ERA and 14.9 Ok/9? Maybe not, however you’ll be able to guess there are many groups who would love to supply the soon-to-be-30-year-old a contract for a few years to assist solidify the again of their bullpen. 

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