MLB free agency is here, and though baseball’s offseason is more of a leisurely job than a sprint, there are still reason to believe the Dodgers will be much more active at the high-end of the market than last year.
Shohei Ohtani is the top prize, a one-of-a-kind player who figures to set records with whatever contract he will sign this winter. We’ll dig a little deeper into him and a his contract specifically later, but Ohtani is the consensus clear No. 1 free agent on the market, per rankings at ESPN, The Athletic, FanGraphs, MLB.com, CBS Sports, Baseball Prospectus, Fox Sports, and MLB Trade Rumors.
Of those eight free agent rankings, which range between 20 and 50 players deep, five sites — BP, MLB, CBS, Athletic, and MLBTR — also listed interested between three and four teams or potential fits. Ohtani was unsurprisingly linked to the Dodgers at all five sites.
I went through all the lists and chronicled every player linked to the Dodgers in some way on even one list. Japanese pitchers Yoshinobu Yamamoto and (lefty) Shōta Imanaga were linked to the Dodgers by three sites, as were Blake Snell and Lucas Giolito, which makes sense with LA’s glaring need for starting pitching.
Though not linked to the Dodgers specifically in any of the free agent rankings, I included pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and outfielder Teoscar Hernández based on reports this week from Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times and Jon Morosi of MLB Network, respectively.
The Dodgers made a deal with the Tigers to trade for Eduardo Rodriguez on August 1 just before the trade deadline, but the pitcher exercised his no-trade clause to veto the deal, citing among other things, not wanting to uproot his family. It’s important to note that there is a huge difference in making such a drastic change in the offseason, with proper planning, than to do so at a relative moment’s notice during the season.
Also, if Rodriguez is able to secure the extra $20 million he was reportedly seeking from the Dodgers in August to okay the trade (on top of the three years and $49 million that remained on his contract, before opting out after the season), I’m sure he and his family can find a way to consider Los Angeles.
In all, 24 players who appeared on any of these free agent rankings were linked to the Dodgers in some way. Here’s a look at the list.
2023-24 MLB free agent rankings