The Dodgers’ front-office will have a lot of difficult decisions this offseason. Honestly, this may be the most important offseason in recent memory for LA.
A good chunk of players will be free-agents heading into the 2022 season. Some will be affordable for the Dodgers and some won’t be. One player in particular that might be out of the Dodgers’ price range is shortstop Corey Seager.
After spending his entire career in Los Angeles, Seager enters free-agency as arguably the top shortstop on the free-agent market. There will be a number of teams that will do their best to sign the superstar to a contract.
Will the Dodgers be one of the teams doing all they can to win the Seager sweepstakes? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
Following LA’s loss to the Braves in Game 6 of the NLCS, Seager spoke with the media. He was asked about whether or not he wanted to remain in Los Angeles.
Going all the way back to Spring Training, Seager has been asked about his future in Los Angeles numerous times. Usually he just shrugged it off and said he was focused on the season or something along those lines. When asked about his future the other day, I thought he would have given an answer about “seeing how the process plays out” or something like that. Instead, he said he wants to return to LA.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Seager said following Game 6 to the media. “I grew up here. I’ve spent a lot of time here. I believe in what these guys do. I believe in how we go about it. Absolutely.”
With it being the offseason and having no games to cover, you better believe we’re going to dissect the hell out of that quote.
According to Spotrac, Seager is calculated to earn a contract for 9 years/$272 million. His likely contract says 12 years/$340 million. Yeah, either way, that’s a hefty contract and a lot of money.
Last offseason we saw shortstops Francisco Lindor and Fernando Tatis Jr. surpass $300 million in contracts. Lindor got 10 years/$341 million from New York and Tatis Jr. got 14 years/$340 million from San Diego. Will Seager get to that number? I’m not entirely certain. But he’ll certainly come close.
So, what do the Dodgers do?
Can they afford him? Absolutely. The Dodgers can afford any player they’d like. We saw them break the bank for Mookie Betts last year by giving him a contract north of $350 million for the next decade.
Will they offer Seager a contract like that? I’m not so certain.
Seager is an interesting option moving forward. Many expect him to switch positions at some point, it’s just a matter of how soon he’s willing to do it. Whether it’s third base or first base, I don’t expect Seager to be playing shortstop five years from now. It might not even be two or three years from now. If the National League adds the DH as expected, it certainly will make him more valuable to a team in the NL.
When the Dodgers acquired Trea Turner at the trade deadline, it almost made it seem like Seager was for sure going to leave, but I don’t know if that is the case. Turner will be a free-agent following the 2022 season and there’s no guarantee the Dodgers re-sign him. Gavin Lux did show promise towards the end of the season, but he’s still a question mark moving forward.
Seager is still fairly young, as he’ll be 28 years old in April of next season. I’m not usually a fan of handing out those mega-contracts, especially at Seager’s age. As we’ve seen time and time again, those contracts normally come back to bite a team near the back end. However, if you’re able to get 5-7 solid years out of the deal, I can live with the remaining few years. Plus, it’s not my money.
I think the Dodgers need to do what they can to bring back Seager. With them likely losing Chris Taylor to free-agency, I think you need to lock up one of your best home-grown talents in decades. Like I said, he won’t be a shortstop long-term so this gives them the option to figure out where they’d like to move him. If the DH is here, maybe next year they can begin the transition for him at third base with Justin Turner spending time at DH.
I don’t know how they can make it work, but I think they sure as hell should try.
The Dodgers have a damn good team right now, and they likely will continue to have a great team moving forward. With that being said, when you’re in a position to win now like the Dodgers are, I think you have to try and go for it, which means you bring Seager back. You have players like Max Muncy, Will Smith, Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollock and both Turners under very affordable contracts right now. Sure, LA can still win without Seager, but he certainly helps their chances and makes their lineup much better.
That’s just my opinion.
Seager would like to be back in Los Angeles, but money talks. I would be shocked if the Dodgers offer him the most expensive or longest contract, as there will certainly be other teams backing up the brinks truck at the doorstep of his house.
We’ve seen the Dodgers get creative with contracts, and maybe they do that with Seager. Maybe they offer him an opt-out after 2-3 seasons, and go really money-heavy at the beginning of the contract. Or, maybe Seager just wants to lock in the longest contract possible.
Either way, I don’t blame him for going whichever route he chooses. He’s earned whatever contract a team throws his way. For his sake and the Dodgers’ sake, I just sure hope he ends up back in Los Angeles.