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Why the Dodgers should go after Tommy Pham

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Championship Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v. Philadelphia Phillies - Game Six Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

If there is any area for improvement on the current Dodgers roster, it is their corner outfield depth.

The Dodgers currently have Chris Taylor projected to be the starting left fielder, with Miguel Vargas and Manuel Margot as additional corner outfield pieces within the major league depth chart. In the 2023 season, Taylor produced at the highest rate out of the three, connecting for 15 home runs while posting a 104 wRC+ and a 1.9 fWAR.

If the Dodgers want to add a highly productive bat that can add to their corner outfield depth, then current free agent Tommy Pham looks to be an ideal candidate.

Here are three main reasons for why the Dodgers should go out and sign Tommy Pham.

Recent postseason success

As much as the Dodgers rotation mired in the 2023 postseason against the eventual National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS, the offense didn’t fare too well either. The Dodgers averaged just two runs per game in the three-game series, whereas Arizona put up at least four runs in each of the three games.

Pham was a vital part of Arizona’s magical run to the World Series, as he immediately provided offense in Game 1 of the NLDS, going 4-5 with a home run in the win. He continued to be a solid offensive piece for Arizona in the further rounds, highlighted by a crucial home run in Game 1 of the World Series that gave Arizona a two-run lead.

In the 2023 postseason, Pham posted serviceable numbers, slashing .275/.297/.475 with three home runs and driving in four. Throughout his career, Pham has been an excellent bat in the postseason, slashing .313/.333/.513 with six home runs and 10 driven in.

Hit to all fields

With the Dodgers having hitters such as Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani, there are players that can certainly hit to all parts of the field with authority. What Pham posted in the 2023 regular season shows that he has the ability to spray the ball to all fields with excellent results.

Pham had most of his success as a pull hitter, as he connected for eight home runs while hitting .335 on balls hit to left field. He demonstrated a superb ability to hit up the middle and to the opposite field, as he slashed .315 on ball hit to center field and a ridiculous .400 average on balls hit to the opposite field, combining for an additional eight home runs and driving in 39 runs.

Leader in the clubhouse

During his tenure with both the New York Mets and with Arizona in the regular season, Pham was praised for his ability to understand the role he was presented with and to excel within that role.

Ken Rosenthal and Will Sammon of The Athletic released an article back in September that downplayed Pham’s reputation as a clubhouse cancer, receiving praise from both Mets manager Buck Showalter and from Diamondbacks first base coach Dave McKay.

Per Showalter to Pham: “It’s all wrong. I’ve seen all the teams you’ve played for and everybody loves you.”

Per McKay: “You hear of players that are coachable. Well, sometimes you can be too coachable. The guys who agree with everything I say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great,’ I’m thinking we’ve got a problem here, because I’m not that good. The guys that usually get it and improve quicker are the guys you have to convince this is a better way of doing it. Tommy is one of those guys.”

During a postgame interview after Arizona’s Game 1 victory over the Dodgers, Pham discussed how he wanted to set the tone for most of the younger players on the roster through leading by example.

“The only thing I’ve really done is just told guys to continue to strive to be better. This game will humble you and if you go about it a certain way and you stay focused, the game will reward you.”

Pham’s influence was felt heavily by the rest of the team, which ultimately was a key ingredient in getting Arizona back to the World Series for the first time in 22 years.

The Dodgers have plenty of superstars within their vaunted roster, but talent is sometimes not enough to get them over the hump, which has been displayed by the Dodgers’ last two appearances in the postseason. Adding a player like Tommy Pham will give the Dodgers a much needed corner outfielder who can hit to all fields with authority, has had an excellent postseason track record, and was an influential piece of a team that is the reigning National League champions, a title the Dodgers would certainly love to have back next season and beyond.