Dodgers’ Dave Roberts ‘not looking forward’ to offseason; here are five free agent questions facing L.A.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been eradicated from postseason competition on Saturday night time, dropping Sport 6 of the Nationwide League Championship Collection to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves knocked off the reigning champs and superior to their first World Collection since 1999, the place they will face the Houston Astros. The Dodgers, conversely, will start their offseason — and sheesh, what a transformational offseason it is perhaps for them.

The Dodgers have a number of key contributors slated to hit the open market this winter, together with starters Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer; shortstop Corey Seager; nearer Kenley Jansen; and utility starter Chris Taylor. To say nothing of legacies or previous performances, these gamers mixed for 16 Wins Above Substitute in 2021. In different phrases, the Dodgers have plenty of massive choices to make over the approaching weeks.

“The six years I have been right here, it has been a core group of fellows that may very well be turned over this winter,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters after L.A.’s season-ending loss. “I am not trying ahead to it. I want we may have received one other one with this group.”

With that in thoughts, let’s break down 5 of the Dodgers’ free agent circumstances.

1. Finish of the Kershaw period?

Kershaw has been a fixture for the Dodgers since debuting in 2008. His 376 regular-season begins are the third-most in franchise historical past (behind Don Sutton and Don Drysdale), and his checklist of accomplishments are absurd: three Cy Younger Awards, eight All-Star Video games, and all the opposite fixings that ought to land him in Cooperstown.

Kershaw might be carrying a Dodgers hat when he is enshrined, that a lot is for positive. Will he be carrying one subsequent Opening Day? That is onerous to determine. Kershaw did not appear sure that he would re-up with the Dodgers getting into the 12 months. “I do not know,” he told the Los Angeles Times in February. “Truthfully, I want I had a solution.”

It is lengthy been theorized that Kershaw might wish to play nearer to his Dallas, Texas hometown. On condition that he’ll flip 34 years outdated subsequent March, it is time to begin eager about such concerns. That Kershaw lately suffered an elbow damage that worn out his postseason might make it simpler for the Dodgers to let their ace stroll.

Nonetheless, there are some gamers who’re onerous to image in one other uniform till they really change wardrobes. Kershaw is a type of gamers. Even when he does go away by way of free company, he is all the time going to be a Dodger. 

2. Is Scherzer greater than a rental?

If the Dodgers do intend to let Kershaw go away, they is perhaps extra inclined to do no matter it takes to maintain Scherzer on the head of their rotation. Regardless of coping with arm fatigue within the postseason, Scherzer was nails after coming over on the commerce deadline, posting a 1.98 ERA (208 ERA+) and an 11.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 common season begins with Los Angeles.

The Dodgers will not be alone of their pursuit of Scherzer’s providers. The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants have been every believed to have pursued him on the deadline, and any variety of different groups may be part of them this winter, starting from the New York Yankees to the St. Louis Cardinals. It is value remembering Scherzer had a said desire for the west coast over the summer season. Ought to that stay the case this offseason, the Dodgers would appear to be in a very good place to retain him.

It is unclear if Scherzer’s current bout with a lifeless arm will impression his free company.

3. Does Turner make Seager fungible?

Scherzer wasn’t the one marquee participant the Dodgers landed of their deadline commerce with the Washington Nationals. In addition they acquired Trea Turner. Turner, for his half, may make it simpler for Los Angeles to bid adieu to Corey Seager.

Seager is anticipated to be one of the vital sought-after free brokers available on the market this winter, and for good purpose. He is a 27-year-old shortstop who has averaged greater than three Wins Above Substitute and who has a 147 OPS+ because the begin of 2020. He’ll receives a commission, even with considerations about his again.

It stands to purpose that the Dodgers will hold solely certainly one of Seager and Turner long run. In the event that they have been planning on the one being Seager, they most likely would’ve labored out an extension by now. Maybe that is baseless, and maybe the Dodgers will get one thing hashed out with Seager earlier than he hits the open market. For now, although, Turner looks as if the odds-on favourite to be Los Angeles’ opening day shortstop in 2022.

4. Time for a brand new nearer?

As with Kershaw, it is onerous to examine Kenley Jansen in one other uniform. He is amassed 701 appearances and 350 saves since 2010, each are far and away franchise information. Certainly, Jansen has appeared in 151 extra video games than some other pitcher in Dodgers historical past, and he has notched greater than twice as many saves as Eric Gagne, who completed his personal profession in blue and white with a agency grip on that file.

Contemplating that Jansen closed this 12 months with a 2.22 ERA (185 ERA+), it might appear absurd to suggest the Dodgers would let him stroll. However Jansen’s command was worse general than it had been because the early phases of his profession, and that is one thing the Dodgers must ponder over the approaching weeks. 

5. Will Taylor comply with Hernández’s path?

Main League Baseball is as a lot of a copycat league as some other. That is why it is attainable that some workforce seems to be at Enrique Hernández’s breakout season (and postseason) with the Boston Crimson Sox and wonders if Chris Taylor is not due for the same ascent.

Taylor, 31 years outdated, has already been a productive participant with the Dodgers. He is hit .264/.341/.458 (113 OPS+) with 79 residence runs, 50 stolen bases, and 15 Wins Above Substitute in five-plus seasons on the town. That WAR whole seemingly understates his precise worth to the Dodgers, too, as he has the uncommon type of positional flexibility that has enabled him to obtain severe burn each at shortstop and in middle discipline.

With all the opposite shifting components the Dodgers need to thoughts this offseason, they may determine their greatest pursuits lie find the subsequent Taylor moderately than marrying themselves to Taylor himself over the length of a multi-year deal. | Dodgers’ Dave Roberts ‘not trying ahead’ to offseason; listed here are 5 free agent questions going through L.A.


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