The widespread, undying belief that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be major players in free agency seems almost laughable. Thirteen nine-figure contracts have been given to free agents since Andrew Friedman became the club’s president of baseball operations in October 2014. None came from his Dodgers.
Leading up to the 2017 season, the Dodgers spent $80 million to retain the services of closer Kenley Jansen and rewarded third baseman Justin Turner with a four-year, $64 million deal. They previously allocated $48 million each for three middle-tier starting pitchers — Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir — and guaranteed Kenta Maeda a minimum of $25 million over the life of an eight-year contract.cheap nfl custom jerseys
The Dodgers will be back under the luxury-tax threshold, resetting that menacing, escalating repeater fee. And the best available free-agent options will be 26-year-old Manny Machado and 25-year-old Bryce Harper, both of whom reached the required six years of major league service at an uncommonly young age. If ever there is a time for this pragmatic group of Dodgers executives to splurge on free agency, this could be it.
Harper could simply replace perpetual trade candidate Yasiel Puig as the starting right fielder. Puig is arbitration-eligible after this season, and a free agent after 2019, factors that might contribute to the Dodgers finally trading him.
Keeping Machado would be a lot more complicated, even though it seems like the more likely outcome.
The Dodgers unloaded five prospects to acquire Machado from the Baltimore Orioles on July 20 because they believed he could help them separate from a tight National League West over the final two months of the season. But the Dodgers also had a long-term view in mind, believing that having Machado on board for that time could give them a sizable advantage over other potential suitors in free agency.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
They could sell him on L.A., sell him on winning, sell him on Dave Roberts and perhaps even sell him on mixing in a little time at third base with his preferred shortstop, because no team values versatility like the Dodgers.
Machado has been coy about what lies ahead, but we know this much: He’s going to sign a big contract, probably in the neighborhood of $300 million, and he wants to remain a full-time shortstop, an intention he has made abundantly clear this season. Bringing him back, then, would trigger a complicated set of circumstances that would affect several important Dodgers, including two core pieces, a key veteran leader and quite possibly the greatest pitcher in franchise history.