You’d never guess it based on the Dodgers’ final list of offseason transactions, but the team was linked to seemingly dozens of trade rumors this fall. What would their roster have looked like if all the rumors were true? They’re already over the luxury tax limit — and a team can only carry so many shortstops anyways — but let’s pretend the Dodgers actually signed every player to whom they were linked from October to now and see what could have been.
The Dodgers were certainly interested in keeping Turner around, and he did say that he liked playing in Los Angeles. But the desire to go back towards the East Coast won out, and Turner ended up with the Philadelphia Phillies instead.
Final deal: 11 years, $300 million with the Phillies
In December, Swanson was considered one of the only remaining star shortstops on the market. The Dodgers were still rumored to only be “on the periphery” of conversations, but with the hole Turner left, anything could happen.
Final deal: Seven years, $177 million with the Chicago Cubs
After seasons of speculation over whether the Dodgers would put skill over scandal and pursue Carlos Correa, Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic put that rumor to bed with a report that the Dodgers would not engage in talks with the former Astros shortstop. Correa agreed to two deals — 12 years for $315 million with the New York Mets and 13 years for $350 million with the San Francisco Giants — before ultimately landing back with the Minnesota Twins.
Final deal: Six years, $200 million with the Twins.
The Boston Red Sox have an unfortunate — or fortunate, depending on whether your team is on the other end of the deal — habit of sending their superstars off to new teams. That was the case with shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who also drew attention from L.A. before signing with the Padres.
Final deal: 11 years, $280 million with the Padres
After playing his entire career in Tampa Bay, the Rays declined Kevin Kiermaier’s $13 million team option and made the center fielder a free agent. He and the Dodgers were in conversations down to the wire, according to Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times, but Kiermaier ended up in Toronto.
McCutchen is poised for a big 2023: He’s a few hits and homers away from the 2,000 and 300 marks, respectively. He spent his last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and drew interest from the Dodgers, Rays, and more this offseason but showed that home is where the heart is with his return to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Final deal: One year, $5 million with the Pirates
Seattle’s Mitch Haniger was another intriguing option to replace Cody Bellinger for the Dodgers. He was one of the many players to be taken off the market during this year’s Winter Meetings, ending up with the rival Giants instead.
Final deal: Three years, $43.5 million with the San Francisco Giants
The Dodgers, Giants, and Padres were all linked to Aaron Judge at one point or another this offseason, but the Yankees star eventually decided that there’s no place like NYC. He’s staying with the Yankees for a good, long time.
Final deal: Nine years, $360 million with the Yankees
The Dodgers considered signing right hander Seth Lugo, who has spent the last two years of his career pitching from the bullpen. Instead, Lugo is headed to the San Diego Padres and will have a chance to start for them.
Final deal: One year, about $15 million with the Padres
Verlander was a big target for the Dodgers this offseason, and they met with him in November to discuss a potential deal. He was expected to be expensive, and the Mets were able to deliver with what is becoming a familiarly large contract.
Final deal: Two years, $86.7 million with a $35 million vesting option for 2025 with the Mets
In early November, Jon Heyman reported that the Dodgers would likely extend a qualifying offer to Tyler Anderson. They did, but Anderson declined that offer and signed a multiyear contract with the Angels instead.
Final deal: Three years, $39 million with the Angels
Rodón garnered interest from the Dodgers, Twins, Texas Rangers, and Yankees this offseason, but the Giants were also looking at bringing him back. New York won this one with a multiyear deal and nice signing bonus of $5 million.
Final deal: Six years, $162 million with the Yankees
Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong garnered attention from both the Dodgers and Giants this offseason in addition to the Seattle Mariners. Milwaukee ended up making a trade with Seattle for second baseman Abraham Toro and outfielder Jesse Winker in exchange for Wong.
Final deal: $10 million with the Mariners
Justin Turner hoped to be back with the Dodgers for 2023, but plans changed — as they often do in free agency. Turner looked for multiyear offers but, considering that the Dodgers ultimately signed J.D. Martinez into a one-year designated hitter role that would presumably have been Turner’s, that wasn’t going to happen in L.A.
Final deal: Two years, $21.7 million with the Red Sox
According to Spotrac’s breakdown of the above-mentioned players’ average yearly salaries under their new deals, the Dodgers would be paying $283.7 million this season alone for all of them (and we’ve almost certainly missed a few other rumors that would bump that number even higher). As of January 14, we reported that their actual total payroll for 2023 is about $236 million. Don’t believe everything you read online, kids.