Before the MLB ventured into the lockout, the Los Angeles Dodgers suffered significant losses in free agency, headlined by Corey Seager inking a massive $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Seager’s departure may push the Dodgers to consider signing All-Star free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa.
Dodgers lose Corey Seager in free agency to the Rangers
After failing to secure a second straight World Series title, the Dodgers ventured into the offseason, well aware of the massive changes ahead.
Beyond Max Scherzer inking a three-year, $130 million deal with the New York Mets, it featured All-Star shortstop Corey Seager inking a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Rangers. The Dodgers held a significant interest in retaining Seager but weren’t going to present an offer anywhere near that range.
He played a crucial part in lifting Los Angeles to the 2020 World Series title behind his impressive postseason showing. He held a triple slash of .328/.425/.746 with eight home runs and 20 RBI. Seager topped his dominant stretch by earning the 2020 World Series MVP award after hitting .400 with two home runs and five RBI.
Despite Seager being in his physical prime, the Dodgers held hesitance to pay him a massive contract due to lingering health issues. It forces Los Angeles to move forward with a new plan at shortstop that may lead them to pursue a player that the fan base despises.
Carlos Correa may force the Dodgers to swallow their pride in free agency
Months before the offseason, the presumption became that the Dodgers would lose Seager in free agency.
That quickly became fruition after the massive contract that the Rangers gave the former World Series MVP. With Seager out of the picture, it leaves a gaping hole in the infield.
The ballclub could choose to slide Trea Turner to shortstop, but it also puts into the picture outside options. All-Star Carlos Correa sits front and center as he desires a lucrative deal in free agency that exceeds the $160 million offer the Astros presented him last month.
Longtime MLB insider Jon Heyman created chatter after stating earlier this month that he believes the Dodgers could make a serious push to sign the 27-year-old.
“Carlos Correa, the question has been is he going to get the most money, or is it going to be Seager?” Heyman said on his podcast via Fansided. “It will be very interesting to see. Houston is certainly still interested. They weren’t anywhere near it with their $160 million offer. I think the big question is could the Dodgers do it if they don’t don’t do Freeman?
“I thought they would only go for Seager, and if they didn’t get Seager, they have Turner there. But with Seager not there now, so much extra money that they’re not spending, you can’t rule out the Dodgers for Correa. Those would be my two thoughts for Correa right now: Houston or the Dodgers.”
For many Dodgers fans, pursuing Correa evokes an angry sentiment due to his association with the Astros’ sign-stealing cheating scandal. The strong negative emotion remains for an extremely valid reason as it impacted Los Angeles’ 2017 World Series title chances.
Those feelings aside, Correa is one of the league’s top infield talents, an above-average defensive player who performs well in the postseason. He’s also in the prime of his career, with plenty of productive campaigns ahead. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a scenario that could gain traction.
Dodgers could go the in-house route to resolve the infield dilemma
Although the opportunity to pursue Correa is on the table, the Dodgers can go the in-house route.
Los Angeles lost Seager but did retain Chris Taylor on a four-year, $60 million deal. Taylor is the ultimate utility player that can play several infield positions, including second base. His versatility could allow Trea Turner to shift over to shortstop.
The Dodgers could also elevate Gavin Lux into a more prominent role as the starting second baseman. Another scenario may see them land All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, leading Max Muncy to second base while Turner steps in shortstop.
Los Angeles certainly has several options available beyond going after Correa. It isn’t the end-all, be-all situation with the star shortstop, but there is a feasible outcome that will force many Dodgers fans to swallow their pride.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.